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International Communism 



WKsri'ORT, c;onnec;ticu r 


Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 

United States. Dept. of State. 

Intervention of international comrmmism in Guatemala. 

Reprint of the 195I1 ed. published "by the U. S. Govt. 
Print. Off., Washington, which was issued as the Dept. 
of State's Publication 5556 and also as Inter-American 
series U8, 

1. Communism — Guatemala. 2. Partido Guatemalteco 
del Trabojo. 3. Guatemala — Polities and government-- 
19^5- I. Title. II. Series: United States. 
Publication ; 5556. m. Series: United States. Dept. 
of state. Inter-American series ; U8. 

[HX128.5.U5^ 1976] 335. ^+3' 097281 76-29052 

ISBN 0-8371-9100-9 

Infer-American Series 48 
Released August 1954 

Southwest Texas State Universits? 
San Marcos, Texas 78666 | 

Originally published in 1954 by the Department of State, 
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington 

Reprinted in 1976 by Greenwood Press, Inc. 

Library of Congress catalog card number 76-29052 

ISBN 0-8371-9100-9 

Printed in the United States of America 




Intervention of International Communism in the 

Statement by Secretary Dulles, Caracas, Venezuela, 
March 8, 1954. 

Declaration of Solidarity for the Preservation of the 
Political Integrity of the American States Against 
International Communist Intervention 

Caracas, Venezuela, March 28, 1954. 

The Declaration of Caracas and the Monroe Doc- 

News conference statement by Secretary Dulles, March 
16, 1954. 

Communist Influence in Guatemala 

News conference statement by Secretary Dulles, May 
25, 1954. 

The Guatemalan Complaint Before the U. N. Secu- 
rity Council 

Statements by Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., U. S. Repre- 
sentative to the United Nations, June 20, 22, and 
25, 1954. 

U. S. Senate Concurrent Resolution 91 

Approved June 25, 1954. 

The Guatemalan Problem Before the OAS Council . . 

Statement by John C. Dreier, U, S. Representative to 
the Council of the Organization of American States, 
June 28, 1954. 

International Communism in Guatemala 

Radio and television address by Secretary Dulles, June 
SO, 1954. 


The Guatemalan Communist Party: A Basic Study. . 

The Growth of International Communism in Guate- 

A brief chronology, Juna 1944^Jun« 8, 1964- 









The contents of PART ONE of this volume 
have been previously published. 

PART TWO represents a case history of a 
bold attempt on the part of international 
communism to get a foothold in the Western 
Hemisphere by gaining control of the political 
institutions of an American Republic. The sit- 
uation in Guatemala has changed since this 
document was prepared. Nevertheless, it is the 
view of the Government of the United States 
that the facts herein constitute a grim lesson to 
all nations and peoples which desire to main- 
tain their independence. 






Statement by Secretory Dulles, Caracas, Venezuela, March 8, 1954 

The United States has introduced a resolution under the agenda 
item "Intervention of International Communism in the American 
Kepublics." Our proposal is before you. 

Its preamble first recalls the prior resolutions finding international 
communism to be a threat and then records our judgment that this 
threat still persists. 

The first operative portion declares that, if the international Com- 
munist movement should come to dominate the political institutions of 
any American State, that would be a threat to the sovereignty and 
political independence of us all, endangering the peace of America 
and calling for appropriate action. 

In accordance with existing treaties, the second operative portion 
calls for disclosures and exchanges of information, which would ex- 
pose and weaken the Communist conspiracy. 

What is international communism? In the course of the general 
debate, one of the Foreign Ministers (the Minister of Guatemala) 
asked, "What is international communism?" I thought that by now 
every Foreign Minister of the world knew what international com- 
munism is. It is disturbing if the foreign affairs of one of our 
American Republics are conducted by one so innocent that he has to 
ask that question. 

But since the question has been asked, it shall be answered. Inter- 
national communism is that far-flung clandestine political organiza- 
tion which is operated by the leaders of the Communist Party of the 
Soviet Union. Since 1939, it has brought 15 once independent nations 
into a state of abject servitude. It has a hard core of agents in prac- 
tically every country of the world. The total constitutes not a theory, 
not a doctrine, but an aggressive, tough, political force, backed by great 
resources, and serving the most ruthless empire of modern times. 

Most of the leaders of the Soviet Communist Party appear before 
the eyes of the world as responsible ofiicials of the Soviet Government. 
In this capacity they conduct relations with the other Governments 
through the traditional institutions of diplomacy. But at the same 
time they operate and control this worldwide clandestine political 
organization to which I have referred. 


Until the Second World War, Moscow's control over this organiza- 
tion was exercised openly through the central headquarters of the 
Communist International, the so-called "Comintern." That was a 
political association to which all of the Communist parties belonged 
and it had its seat in Moscow. During the war the Comintern was 
officially abolished. Since that time the control over the foreign 
Communist parties has been exercised by the Moscow leaders secretly 
and informally, but for the most part no less effectively than before. 

As proof of this fact one does not need to search for the precise 
channels through which this control proceeds, although some of them 
in fact are known. If one compares Soviet propaganda with the po- 
litical positions taken by individual Communist officials and agents 
around the world, both from the standpoint of substance and timing, 
it becomes clear, beyond possibility of doubt, that there is this highly 
disciplined hierarchical organization which commands the unques- 
tioned obedience of its individual members. 

The disciplinary requirements include a firm insistence that loyalty 
to the movement, which means in effect loyalty to the leaders of the 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union, shall take precedence over 
every other obligation including love of country, obligation to family, 
and the honor of one's own personal conduct. 

These conclusions are not speculation; they are established facts, 
well known to all who have seriously studied the Communist 

The fact that this organization exists does not mean that all mem- 
bers of all Communist parties everywhere are conscious of its existence 
and of their relationship to it. Only a small proportion of Communist 
Party members are initiated into complete awareness of the nature of 
the movement to which they belong and the real sources of its au- 
thority. Most national Communist parties masquerade as normal 
patriotic political parties, purporting to reflect indigenous political 
impulses and to be led by indigenous elements. 

Actually, every one of these parties represents a conspiracy within 
a conspiracy ; the rank-and-file members, while serving the purpose 
of duping others, are to a considerable extent duped by their own 
leaders. The leaders do not reveal fully to the rank and file either 
the nature of their own allegiance or the sources of their own authority 
and funds. 

The overall purpose for which this organization is maintained and 
operated is to act as an instrument for the advancement of the world- 
wide political aims of the dominant group of Moscow leaders. 
__. This, then, is the answer to "What is international communism" ? 

It may nest be asked whether this international Communist appara- 
tus actually seeks to bring this hemisphere, or parts of it, into the 
Soviet orbit. The answer must be in the affirmative. 



I shall not here accuse any government or any individuals of being 
either plotters or the dupes of plotters. We are not sitting here as a 
court to try governments or individuals. We sit rather as legislators. 
As such, we need to know what will enable us to take appropriate ac- 
tion of a general character in the common interest. Therefore, I 
shall confine myself to presenting well-established facts of that 

When the Comintern was operating openly, it trained at Moscow, 
largely in the Lenin School, numerous persons from the Americas. 
Some of them are still active. 
International Front Organizations 

There was a special Comintern headquarters, and there were secret 
field offices which controlled and supported Communist activities in 
Latin America. The Comintern also developed a series of interna- 
tional front organizations designed to enable its agents to get popular 
backing from special groups such as labor, youth, women, students, 
farmers, etc. These front organizations also served as cover for the 
Soviet intelligence services. 

When the Soviet Communist Party went through the form of 
abolishing the Comintern, these same front organizations were car- 
ried on in a different form, with headquarters shifted from Moscow 
usually to satellite capitals. The Communist International of Youth 
emerged as the World Federation of Democratic Youth, with head- 
quarters in Budapest, and as the International Students Union, with 
headquarters in Prague. There is the Women's International Juridi- 
cal Association. There is the World Peace Council, located in 
Prague. There is the World Committee Against War and Fascism. 
Most powerful of all is the World Federation of Trade Unions, seated 
under Soviet auspices in Vienna. There is the All Union Society for 
Cultural Relations Abroad which channels propaganda through its 
local outlets, the various Soviet friendship societies. 

These front organizations carry on important activities in many of 
the American States. Their members in this hemisphere go back and 
forth to the Soviet bloc countries, using funds which are supplied by 
the Soviet Communist Party. 

The basic facts I outline are well known. They could be supple- 
mented by masses of detail, but that is unnecessary for our present 
purposes. It is enough to know that international communism oper- 
ates strongly in this hemisphere to accomplish the political purposes 
of its leaders who are at the same time the leaders of the Soviet Com- 
munist Party and of the Soviet Union. 

International communism is not liberating but enslaving. It has 
been suggested that, even though the international Communist move- 
ment operates in this hemisphere, it may serve a liberating purpose, 
compatible with principles of our American States. Few, I believe, 

would argue for that openly. The thesis is advanced rather by 
innuendo and insinuation. 

Such suggestions lese all plausibility when we recall what this 
Communist movement has done to the nations and the peoples it has 
come to dominate. Let us think first in terms of nations. 

Many of us knew at the United Nations Jan Masaryk, the son of the 
great author of Czechoslovak freedom. He was a Foreign Minister 
who believed, until almost the end, that the Communist movement in 
his country was something different ; that it could be reconciled with 
the national freedom to which his father and he were so passionately 
dedicated. But in the end his broken corpse was offered to the world 
as mute evidence of the fact that international communism is never 
"different" and that there can be no genuine reconciliation between it 
^ and national freedom. 

Czechoslovakia was stripped of every vestige of sovereignty, as we 
in the Americas understand that term. It was added to the list of 
victims, which already in Europe included Latvia, Estonia, Lithu- 
ania, Poland, East Germany, Albania, Hungary, Kumania, and Bul- 
garia. These ten European nations, once proud and honorable ex- 
amples of national freedom, have become Soviet serfdoms or worse. 

Within all the vast area, now embracing one-third of the world's 
people, where the military power of the Soviet Union is dominant, no 
official can be found who would dare to stand up and openly attack the 
Government of the Soviet Union. But in this hemisphere, it takes no 
courage for the representative of one of the smallest American coun- 
tries openly to attack the government of the most powerful. 

I rejoice that that kind of freedom exists in the Americas, even if it 
may be at times abused. But the essential is that there be a relation- 
ship of sovereign equality. We of the United States want to keep it 
that way. We seek no satellites, but only friendly equals. We never 
want to see at the pan- American table those who speak as the tools of 
non- American powers. We want to preserve and defend an Ameri- 
can society, in which even the weak may speak boldly, because they 
represent national personalities which, as long as they are free, are 

It is the purpose of our resolution to assure that there will always be 
in this hemisphere such national personalities and dignity. 

If now we turn to see what international communism has done to 
the individual human beings, we find that it has stripped them, too, of 
their sense of dignity and worth. The professional propagandists 
for communism talk glibly of lofty aims and high ideals. That is part 
of the routine — and fraudulent — appeal of the international Commu- 
nist movement. It is one of the principal means by which the dis- 
satisfied are led (o follow false leaders. But once international com- 
munism lias gained its end and subjected the people to the so-called 

"dictatorship of the proletariat," then the welfare of the people ceases 
to be a matter of practical concern. 

Communism and the Worker 

Communism, in its initial theoretical stage, was designated pri- 
marily to serve the workers and to provide them, not with spiritual 
values, for communism is atheistic, but at least with a material well- 
being. It is worthwhile to observe what has actually happened to this 
favored group in countries subjugated by Communist power. 

In these countries the workers have become virtual slaves, and 
millions of them are literally slaves. Instructive facts are to be found 
in the United Nations Eeport on Forced Labor, which was presented 
to the United Nations Assembly at its last session. The authors 
of this report were three eminent and independent personalities from 
India, Norway, and Peru. The report finds that the Soviet Union 
and its satellites use forced labor on a vast scale. Prior evidence 
presented to the United Nations indicates that approximately 15 mil- 
lion persons habitually fill the Soviet labor camps. 

The Forced Labor Report calls the Soviet method of training and 
allocating manpower "A system of forced or compulsory labor." The 
Soviet workers are the most underpaid, overworked persons in any 
modern industrial state. They are the most managed, checked-on, 
spied-on, and unrepresented workers in the world today. There is no 
freedom of movement, for the Russian worker is not allowed to leave 
his job and shift to another job. He is bound to his job by his labor 
book. Except for the relative few who have class privileges, wages 
provide only a pitiful existence. Now, 37 years after the October 
revolution, unrest and discontent have so mounted in Soviet Russia 
that the rulers are forced publicly to notice them and to promise 

Conditions in the Soviet satellite countries are even worse than in 
Russia. The captive peoples have been subjected to sharply decreased 
living standards, since they lost their freedom, and to greater exploi- 
tation than prevails in Russia. The workers' outbreak in East Ger- 
many of last June showed in one revealing flash how desperate the 
people have become. Young boys armed only with stones dared to face 
up to Soviet tanks. 

When I was in the East Sector of Berlin last month, the Soviet 
Foreign Minister referred to that outbreak, and he said that steps 
had been taken to be sure that it did not happen again. I saw those 
steps. They consisted of thousands upon thousands of heavily armed 
soldiers, with machineguns and tanks. 

Traditions of liberty have been established in this hemisphere under 
the leadership of many great patriots. They fought for individual 
human rights and dignity. They lighted the guiding beacons along 
freedom's road, which have burned brightly in the healthy air of 

patriotic fervor. These beacons must not be stifled by the poisonous 
air of despotism now being fanned toward our shores from Moscow, 
Prague, and Budapest. 

These places may seem far away. But let us not forget that in the 
early part of the last century the first danger to the liberties and 
independence which Bolivar, San Martin, and their heroic associates 
had won for the new Republics stemmed precisely from the despotic 
alliance forged by the Czar of Russia. 

Sometimes, it seems, we recall that threat only in terms of colonial- 
ism. Actually, the threat that was deemed most grave was the desire 
of Czarist Russia and its allies to extend their despotic political system 
to this hemisphere. 

I recall that President Monroe, in his message to Congress of Decem- 
ber 2, 1823, addressed himself particularly to that phase of the prob- 
lem. Pie spoke of ending future colonization by any European power, 
but he spoke with greater emphasis and at greater length of the danger 
which would come if "the Allied Powers should extend their political 
system to any portion of either continent" of this hemisphere. 

What he said was being said in similar terms by other great Amer- 
ican patriots and defenders of human liberty. Those sentiments have 
long since ceased to be merely unilateral. They have become an 
accepted principle of this hemisphere. That is why, it seems to us, we 
would be false to our past unless we again proclaimed that the exten- 
sion to this hemisphere of alien despotism would be a danger to us all, 
whi'h we unitedly oppose. 

The Price of Freedom 

My Government is well aware of the fact that there are few prob- 
lems more difficult, few tasks more odious, than that of effectively 
exposing and thwarting the danger of international communism. 

As we have pointed out, that danger cloaks itself behind fine sound- 
ing words ; it uses the cover of many well-intentioned persons, and it 
so weaves itself into the fabric of community life that great courage 
and skill are required to sever the evil from the good. The slogan of 
"nonintervention" can plausibly be invoked and twisted to give im- 
munity to what is, in fact, flagrant intervention. 

The fact, however, that the defense of freedom is difficult, and calls 
for courage, is no adequate excuse for shutting our eyes to the fact that 
freedom is in fact endangered. 

Freedom is never preserved for long except by vigilance and with 
dedicated effort. Those who do not have the will to defend liberty 
soon lose it. 

Danger to liberty constantly recurs in everchanging form. To meet 
that danger requires (lexibility and imagination. Eacli of our nations 
has in tlio past, had to lake some diflicult and dangerous decisions, of 
one kind or another, on behalf of the independence and integrity of 

this hemisphere. During the 19th century, more than one American 
nation, including my own, risked the hazard of war against great 
military powers, rather than permit the intrusion into this hemisphere 
of the aggressive forces of European imperialism. During this 20th 
century, when evil forces of militarism and fascism twice sought 
world domination, the United States paid a great price in blood and 
treasure which served us all. Each of our American Republics has 
contributed to what has now become a glorious tradition. 

Today we face a new peril that is in many respects greater than any 
of the perils of the past. It takes an unaccustomed form. It is backed 
by resources greater than have ever been accumulated under a single 
despotic will. However, we need not fear, because we too have greater 
assets. We have greater solidarity and greater trust bom out of our 
past fraternal association. But just as the danger assumes an uncon- 
ventional form, so our response may also need to be different in its 

We need not, however, solve all these matters here. What we do 
need to do is to identify the peril ; to develop the will to meet it unit- 
edly, if ever united action should be required ; and meanwhile to give 
strong moral support to those governments which have the responsi- 
bility of exposing and eradicating within their borders the danger 
which is represented by alien intrigue and treachery. 

Of course, words alone wilfnot suffice. But words can be meaning- 
ful. They can help to forge a greater determination to assure our col- 
lective independence, so that each of our nations will, in whatever 
way that is truly its own, be the master of its destiny. Thus, we will 
have served our common cause against its enemies. 

It is in that spirit and in that hope that the United States presents 
its resolution. 



Caracas, Venezuela, March 28, 1954 

Whereas: The American republics at the Ninth International Con- 
ference of American States declared that international communism, 
by its anti-democratic nature and its interventionist tendency, is 
incompatible with the concept of American freedom, and resolved 
to adopt within their respective territories the measures necessary 
to eradicate and prevent subversive activities; 
The Fourth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affaire 
recognized that, in addition to adequate internal measures m each 
state, a high degree of international cooperation is required to eradi- 
cate the danger which the subversive activities of international 
communism pose for the American States ; and 
The aggressive character of the international communist movement 
continues to constitute, in the context of world affairs, a special 
and immediate threat to the national institutions and the peace and 
security of the American States, and to the right of each State to 
develop its cultural, political, and economic life freely and nat- 
urally without intervention in its internal or external affairs by 
other States. 
The Tenth Inter- American Conference 

extending to this hemisphere the political system of an extra- 
continental power, would constitute a threat to the sovereignty and 
political independence of the American States, endangering the 
peace of America, and would call for a meeting of consultation to 
consider the adoption of appropriate action in accordance with 
existing treaties. 


Recommends: That without prejudice to such other measures as they 
may consider desirable special attention be given by each of the 
American governments to the following steps for the purpose of 
counteracting the subversive activities of the international com- 
munist movement within their respective jurisdictions : 

1. Measures to require disclosure of the identity, activities, and 
sources of funds, of those who are spreading propaganda of the 
international communist movement or who travel in the interests of 
that movement, and of those who act as its agents or in its behalf ; 

2. The exchange of information among governments to assist in 
fulfilling the purpose of the resolutions adopted by the Inter- 
American Conferences and Meetings of Ministers of Foreign Affairs 
regarding international communism. 


This declaration of foreign policy made by the American republics 
in relation to dangers originating outside this hemisphere is de- 
signed to protect and not to impair the inalienable right of each 
American State freely to choose its own form of government and 
economic system and to live its own social and cultural life. 

Condemns: The activities of the international communist movement 
as constituting intervention in American affairs ; 

Expresses: The determination of the American States to take the 
necessary measures to protect their political independence against 
the intervention of international communism, acting m the interests 
of an alien despotism; 

Reiterates: The faith of the peoples of America in the effective exer- 
cise of representative democracy as the best means to promote their 
social and political progress; and 

Declares- That the domination or control of the political institutions 
of any American State by the international communist movement, 


News Conference Statement by Secretary Dulles, March 16, 1954 

I returned last Sunday from Caracas after 2 weeks of attendance 
at the Tenth Inter- American Conference. The Conference is still in 
session. It has many important matters to deal with, particularly in 
the social and economic field. Already, however, the Conference has 
made history by adopting with only one negative vote a declaration 
that, if the international communism movement came to dominate or 
control the political institutions of any American State, that would 
constitute a threat to the sovereignty and political independence of all 
the American States and would endanger the peace of America. 

That declaration reflects the thinking of the early part of the nine- 
teenth century. At that time, Czarist Kussia was aggressive. Czar 
Alexander had made a claim to sovereignty along the west coast of 
this continent and had organized the so-called Holy Alliance which 
was plotting to impose the despotic political system of Kussia and its 
allies upon the American Eepublics, which had just won their free- 
dom from Spain. 

In 1823, President Monroe, in his message to Congress, made his 
famous declaration. It contained two major points. The first related 
to the colonial system of the allied powers of Europe and declared that 
any extension of their colonial system in this hemisphere would be 
dangerous to our peace and safety. The second part of the declaration 
referred to the extension to this hemisphere of the political system 
of despotism then represented by Czarist Russia and the Holy Alliance. 
President Monroe declared that "it is impossible that the Allied 
Powers should extend their political system to any portion of either 
continent without endangering our peace and happiness. It is equally 
impossible, therefore, that we should behold such interposition, in any 
form, with indifference." 

The first part of President Monroe's declaration against extending 
the European colonial system in this hemisphere has long since been 
accepted and made an all- American policy by concerted action of the 
American States. However, the same could not be said of President 
Monroe's declaration against the extension to this hemisphere of a 
European despotic system. It seemed to me, as I planned for the 
Caracas conference, that the threat which stems from international 
communism is a repetition in this century of precisely the kind of 


danger against which President Monroe had made his famous declara- 
tion 130 years ago. It seemed of the utmost importance that, just as 
part of the Monroe declaration had long since been turned from a 
unilateral declaration into a multilateral declaration of the American 
States, so it would be appropriate for the American States to unite 
to declare the danger to them all which would come if international 
communism seized control of the political institutions of any Ameri- 
can State- 
That matter was debated at Caracas for 2 weeks and a declaration 
in the sense proposed by the United States was adopted by a vote of 
17 to 1, with 2 abstentions. 

I believe that this action, if it is properly backed up, can have a 
profound effect in preserving this hemisphere from the evils and woes 
that would befall it if any one of our American States became a Soviet 
Communist puppet. That would be a disaster of incalculable pro- 
portions. It would disrupt the growing unity of the American States 
which is now reflected by the Charter of the Americas and by the Rio 
Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance. 

It was time that we should have acted as we did because international 
communism is making great efforts to extend its political control to 
this hemisphere. The declaration adopted at Caracas, and particu- 
larly the sentiments which were expressed during the course of the 
debate, show an awareness of the danger and a resolution to meet it. 
It is significant of the vitality of our American system that no one 
of the American Republics, even the most powerful, wanted to deal 
single-handedly with the danger, but that it was brought to the Inter- 
American Conference table as a matter of common concern. Further- 
more, the declaration, as adopted, contained in substance the words of 
President Eisenhower, expressed in his great peace address of April 
16, 1953, that the declaration "is designed to protect and not to im- 
pair the inalienable right of each American State freely to choose its 
own form of government and economic system and to live its own 
social and cultural life." 



News Conference Statement by Secretary Dulles, May 25, 1954 

The Guatemalan nation and people as a whole are not Communists. 
They are predominantly patriotic people who do not want their nation 
to be dominated by any foreign power. However, it must be borne 
in mind that the Communists always operate in terms of small minor- 
ities who gain positions of power. In Soviet Eussia itself only about 
3 percent of the people are Communists. 

In judging Communist influence in Guatemala three facts are 
_significant : 

1. Guatemala is the only American State which has not completed 
ratification of the Kio Pact of the Americas. 

2. Guatemala was the only one of the American States which at 
the last inter- American Conference at Caracas voted against a declara- 
tion that "the domination or control of the political institutions of any 
American State by the international communist movement, extending 
to this hemisphere the political system of an extracontinental power, 
would constitute a threat to the sovereignty and political independ- 
ence of the American States, endangering the peace of America". . . . 

3. Guatemala is the only American nation to be the recipient of a 
massive shipment of arms from behind the Iron Curtain. 

It has been suggested from Guatemala that it needs more armament 
for defense. Already Guatemala is the heaviest armed of all the 
Central American States. Its military establishment is three to four 
times the size of that of its neighbors such as Nicaragua, Honduras, or 
El Salvador. 

The recent shipment was effected under conditions which are far 
from normal. The shipment was loaded at the Communist-adminis- 
tered Port of Stettin. The ship was cleared for Dakar, Africa. The 
operation was cloaked under a series of chartering arrangements so 
that the real shipper was very difficult to discover. When he was 
discovered he claimed that the shipment consisted of nothing but 
optical glass and laboratory equipment. Wlien the ship was diverted 
from its ostensible destination and arrived at Puerto Barrios, it was 
landed under conditions of extraordinary secrecy and in the personal 
presence of the Minister of Defense. One cannot but wonder why, 
if the operation was an aboveboard and honorable one, all of its details 
were so masked. 



/ By this arms shipment a government in which Communist influence 
is very strong has come into a position to dominate militarily the 
Central American area. Already the Guatemalan Government has 
made gestures against its neighbors which they deem to be threatening 

J and which have led them to appeal for aid. 

— The Guatemalan Government boasts that it is not a colony of the 
United States. We are proud that Guatemala can honestly say that. 
The United States is not in the business of collecting colonies. The 
important question is whether Guatemala is subject to Communist 
colonialism, which has already subjected 800 million people to its 
despotic rule. The extension of Communist colonialism to this hemi- 
sphere would, in the words of the Caracas Eesolution, endanger the 
peace of America. 


807858 5-1 



Statements made before the Security Council by Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., 

U. S. Representative to the United Nations 

The United States believes in the basic proposition that any mem- 
ber, large or small, has the right to an urgent meeting of the Security 
Council whenever it feels itself to be in danger. This is so even when, 
as is sometimes the case, the Security Council may not itself be in the 
best position to deal directly with the situation. 

Guatemala charges that other governments are pursuing a policy of 
hostility and aggressiveness against it. The specific Guatemalan alle- 
gations mvolve two of its immediate neighbors, Honduras and Nica- 
ragua, who are charged with disturbing the peace in a particular 
part of Central America. These charges are indeed serious and cer- 
tainly warrant urgent examination. 

But the question arises as to where the situation can be dealt with 
most expeditiously and most effectively. 

^ The situation appears to the U. S. Government to be precisely the 
kind of problem which in the first instance should be dealt with on an 
urgent basis by an appropriate agency of the Organization of Ameri- 
can States. The very fact that the Government of Guatemala as a 
member of the Inter-American System has already requested that the 
Organization of American States take action strengthens this view. 

It would perhaps be in order for me to inform the Council that, 
while the reports that we receive on the situation in Guatemala are 
incomplete and fragmentary, the information available to the United 
States thus far strongly suggests that the situation does not involve 
aggression but is a revolt of Guatemalans against Guatemalans. The 
situation in Guatemala, out of which this problem arises, has caused 
grave concern to the U. S. Government and to the other members of 
the Organization of American States. Consequently, the members of 
the Organization of American States have for some time been con- 
ferring intensively among themselves on the Guatemalan situation 
with a view to deciding upon what steps should be taken for the main- 
tenance of peace and security of the continent. 
No Charge Against U.S. 

I am very glad that the Guatemalan representative made it crystal 
clear that ho makes no charge whatever against the U.S. Government, 



because it is certainly true that the United States has no connection 
whatever with what is taking place. 

I am constrained to note that, although he made no charges against 
the United States, the Guatemalan representative did cite a number 
of unfavorable comments made by others concerning Secretary Dulles, 
Ambassador Peurifoy, and Ambassador John M. Cabot. In fact, 
more of the time of his speech was given up in citing these statements 
that others had made— newspaper articles and hearsay— than in the 
actual charge that he made. Those tactics, of course, always give one 
the impression that instead of being interested in getting the answer 
to the question, "What is the truth?", the speaker is more interested in 
getting the answer to the question, "What is the headline going to be?" 
Now, I do not think it is necessary for me here in the United Nations 
to make a lengthy speech about Secretary Dulles. Secretary Dulles 
has worked here for years. He is very well kno\vn personally to most 
of the men in this room. The merest inference that he could be actu- 
ated by any consideration other than that of duty is one which cer- 
tainly reflects no credit on him who utters it. To anyone who knows 
President Eisenhower— and many of you know him— it must be 
crystal clear that there is a man who is utterly devoted to the principles 
of democracy, to the rights of man, and who abhors all forms of im- 
perialism, who led a great army in World War II against Nazi 
imperialism, and who has shown by every word and deed of his life 
since the day when he was a small boy in Kansas that his heart is al- 
ways on the side of the little man who is trying to get by in life. 

The Secretary of State did nothing at Caracas which was not in 
accordance with the facts. As a matter of fact, the only authorities 
which the Guatemalan representative cites are the U.S. press. The 
U.S. press, estimable though it is and deeply as I respect it, does not 
speak for the U.S. Government, and I am sure the U.S. press will agree 
with me in that respect. You can find as many different opinions in 
the U.S. press as you care to look for. 

Then the Guatemalan representative cites American companies, 
and, of course, they do not speak with the voice of authority. 

Finally, he refers to Mr. Patterson [Kichard C. Patterson, Jr., U.S. 
Ambassador to Guatemala from October 1948 until March 1951]. 
Well, Mr. Patterson does not hold office under this administration. 
He has never held office under this administration. Whatever he says 
is entirely on his own authority as an individual, and just as I will not 
judge the opinion of the Guatemalan Government about the United 
States on the basis of what some individual Guatemalan may say, so I 
will ask the Guatemalan representative not to judge the U.S. opinion 
about Guatemala on the basis of what some individual citizen of the 
United States may say. 


I would like to point out that the Guatemalan representative has 
never produced any names or dates or other specific indications show- 
ing that the State Department has ever acted in an improper manner. 

Now, this discussion began with a speech of Ambassador Castiilo- 
Arriola which, as I say, was correct in tone. Then came the unspeak- 
able libels against my country by the representative of the Soviet 
Union, which, in the words that Sir Gladwyn Jebb used last autumn, 
make me think that his reason must be swamped when he says things 
hke that about the United States. 

Then, as a climax, we had the crude performance in the gallery— a 
sequence which I fear is not without significance. Of course, anyone 
IS capable of filhng the galleries with paid demonstrators, and we 
hope that the Communists who think this is such clever politics will 
outgrow it after a while. It may take time. 

No Satellites in OAS 

The representative of the Soviet Union said that the United States 
is the master of the Organization of American States. When he says 
that, he is not reflecting on us. He is reflecting on himself, because it 
shows that he cannot conceive of any human relationship that is not 
the relationship of master and servant. He cannot conceive of a 
relationship in which there .. a rule of live and let live, in which 
people are equals and in which people get along by accommodation 
and by respecting each other. 

He can just imagine what would happen to somebody who raised his 
voice against the Soviet Union in Poland, Czechoslovakia, or Estonia, 
or one of those countries, and compare that with the way in which 
representatives of smaller countries in the United Nations constantly 
disagree with the United States— and they are welcome to do it. We 
have no satellites and we do not want any; and we do not desire to 
set up a monolithic structure in the free world. 

Then the Soviet representative said that the United States pre- 
pared this armed intervention. That is flatly untrue. I will challenge 
him to prove it — and he cannot do so. 

It is interesting to me, who spent 13 years of my life in the United 
States Senate, to come here and find that in the person of the repre- 
sentative of the Soviet Union we have such an outstanding authority 
on the United States Senate. Apparently, he knows all. Though 
he never has set foot inside the place, he apparently knows much more 
about the United States Senate than men who have been members of it 
for many years. When he infers that the Senators of the United 
States allow their official actions to be determined in accordance with 
their private fuiancial interests, he is making an accusation which not 
only reflects no credit upon himself but which reflects a grave doubt 
on the wisdom and the good intent and the sincerity of every policy 
whicli his Government advocates here today. 



I will call his attention to the fact that I was in the Senate at the 
beginning of World War II when the Senate voted the Lend-Lease 
Bill whereby the United States aided the Soviet Union in its fight to 
repel Nazi imperialism. At that time we did not hear anything out of 
the Soviet Union criticizing the motives of the Senators of the United 
States who were then voting to help the Soviet Union. 

Now, the men who are in the United States Senate today are pre- 
cisely the same kind of men who voted to help the Soviet Union. If 
they were good enough then to help the Soviet Union, they are good 
enough now to stand up for the interests of their country, 

I notice the representative of the Soviet Union is smiling, which 
leads me to believe that he does not really believe the things that he 
has said and that he has said them under instructions. I trust that 
is the case. 

Now, he has told us that he intends to veto the pending resolution. 
That will be the second veto by the Soviet Union in 3 days. We had 
veto No. 59 on Friday, and now we are going to have veto No. 60 
on Sunday. And, vetoing what ? Vetoing a move to ask the Organiza- 
tion of American States to solve this problem, to try to bind up this 
wound in the world and then report back to the Security Council— 
not to relieve the Security Council of responsibility. This resolution 
does not do that. It just asks the Organization of American States 
to see what it can do to be helpful. Here it says in paragraph 2 of 
article 52, "the Members of the United Nations entering into such ar- 
rangements'' — that is, regional arrangements — "or constituting such 
agencies shall make every effort to achieve pacific settlement of local 
disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional 
agencies before referring them to the Security Council." 

Now, at the very least, that is a harmless provision. It is an in- 
telligent provision. It is a constructive provision. Why does the 
representative of the Soviet Union, whose country is thousands and 
thousands of miles away from here, undertake to veto a move like that? 
Wlaat is his interest in it? How can he possibly— how can this action 
of his possibly fail to make unbiased observers throughout the world 
come to the conclusion that the Soviet Union has designs on the 
American Hemisphere. There is no other explanation of it. And the 
recent articles in Pravda and Izvestia which have appeared in the last 
2 or 3 days give color to that assertion. 

I say to you, representative of the Soviet Union, stay out of this 
hemisphere and don't try to start your plans and your conspiracies 
over here. 

I note specifically the cable from Mr. Toriello does not ask for 
another meeting of the Council. 



As President of the Security Council I was very glad to respond to 
his request for an urgent meeting of the Council last Sunday. 

The Security Council, after exhaustive discussion, by a vote of 
10 to 1, voted last Sunday [June 20] that the right place to go to get 
peace in Guatemala is the Organization of American States, where 
there is both unique knowledge and authority. The one vote against 
this was that of the Soviet Union. 

In the face of this action, therefore, those who continually seek to 
agitate the Guatemalan question in the Security Council will in- 
evitably be suspected of shadow boxing — of trying to strike attitudes 
and issue statements for propaganda purposes. 

I can understand that the Soviet Union, which, by its cynical abuse 
of the veto, has crudely made plain its desire to make as much trouble 
as possible in the Western Hemisphere, should constantly seek to 
bring this matter before the Security Council. 

But the Government of Guatemala should not lend itself to this 
very obvious Communist plot, lest they appear to be a cat's paw of the 
Soviet conspiracy to meddle in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, as 
it is, many persons will wonder whether the whole imbroglio in Guate- 
mala was not cooked up precisely for the purpose of making Com- 
munist propaganda here in the United Nations. This I am sure Mr. 
Toriello would not want. 

The fact that it has become increasingly plain that the situation in 
Guatemala is clearly a civil — and not an international — war, makes it 
even more appropriate that the Security Council should not intervene 

The Security Council showed last Sunday by a vote of 10 to 1 that 
it emphatically believed that the Organization of American States was 
the place to try to settle the Guatemalan problem. To fly squarely in 
the face of this recommendation would raise grave doubts as to the 
good faith of those who make such requests. 


Now, Gentlemen, the Government of the United States joins its col- 
leagues in the Organization of American States in opposing the adop- 
tion of the provisional agenda. We have taken this position only after 
the most careful consideration. We believe that there should be great 
liberality with reference to the consideration of items by either the 
Security Council or the General Assembly, but in the present case, we 
believe that an issue was involved which is so fundamental that it 
brings into question the whole system of international peace and secu- 
rity which was created by the charter at San Francisco in 1945. 

When the charter was being drafted, the most critical single issue 
was that of the relationship of the United Nations as a universal or- 
ganization to regional organizations, notnbly the already existing Or- 
ganization of American States. Thoi-e wci-c n, good iriany days in 



San Francisco when it seemed that the whole concept of the United 
Nations might fail of realization because of the difficulty of reconcil- 
ing these two concepts of universaUty and regionalism. Finally, a 
solution was found in the formula embodied in articles 51 and 52 of 
the charter. Article 51 recognized the inherent right of individuals to 
collective self-defense, and article 52 admitted the existence of regional 
arrangements for dealing with such matters related to the maintenance 
of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional 
action. Article 52 provided that the Security Council had the in- 
herent right to investigate any dispute or situation under article 34 
which might lead to international friction. While any member of 
the United Nations might bring any dispute or situation to the atten- 
tion of the Security Council under article 35, nevertheless members of 
the United Nations who had entered into regional arrangements 
should make every effort to achieve pacific settlements of local disputes 
through such regional arrangements before referring them to the 
Security Council. The Security Council should thus encourage the 
development of pacific settlement of local disputes through regional 

Now, Gentlemen, by that formula a balance was struck between 
universality, the effectiveness of which was qualified by the veto power, 
and regional arrangements. The adoption of that formula permitted 
the charter of the United Nations to be adopted. Without that for- 
mula there would never have been a United Nations. 

If the United States Senate in 1946 had thought that the United 
Nations Charter in effect abrogated our inter- American system, I say 
to you as a man with 13 years' experience in the Senate, the charter 
would not have received the necessary two-thirds vote. And, in my 
judgment, the American people feel the same way today. 

Translating a Formula Into a Reality 

Now for the first time, the United Nations faces the problem of 
translating that formula from one of words into one of reality. The 
problem is as critical as that which faced the founders at San Fran- 
cisco in 1945. Let us not delude ourselves. If it is not now possible 
to make a living reality of the formula which made possible the 
adoption of the charter, then the United Nations will have destroyed 
itself in 1954 as it would have been destroyed still-born in 1945 had 
not the present formula been devised primarily under the creative 
effort of the late Senator Vandenberg and the present Secretary of 
State, Mr. Dulles, working with Secretary Stettinius and other ad- 
ministration leaders. It was this formula which secured bipartisan 
support in the United States in 1946. And I note by a completely 
bipartisan vote the Senate today declared that the international Com- 
munist movement must be kept out of this hemisphere. 


So much for the part of the United States in what happened at San 

The great weight of the effort at San Francisco, however, was made 
by the other American Republics, as you have heard Ambassador 
Gouthier and Ambassador Echeverri say before me. The repre- 
sentatives of the other American Republics were determined that the 
United Nations should be supplementary and not in substitution or 
impairment of the tried and trusted regional relationships of their 

The United States, which took such an active part in drafting the 
charter provisions in question, soberly believes that, if the United 
Nations Security Council does not respect the right of the Organiza- 
tion of American States to achieve a pacific settlement of the dispute" 
between Guatemala and its neighbors, the result will be a catastrophe 
of such dimensions as Mall gravely impair the future effectiveness, 
both of the United Nations itself and of regional organizations such 
as the Organization of American States. And that is precisely what 
I believe to be the objective of the Soviet Union in this case. Other- 
wise, why is he so terribly intent upon doing this ? 

The present charter provisions were drafted with particular re- 
gard for the Organization of American States, which constitutes the 
oldest, the largest, and the most solid regional organization that the 
world has ever known. The distinctive relationship of the American 
States dates back to the early part of the last century. Throughout 
this period of over 130 years, there has been a steady development of 
ever closer relations between the 21 American Republics. They have 
achieved a relationship which has preserved relative peace and se- 
curity in this hemisphere and a freedom from the type of wars which 
have so cruelly devastated the peoples of Europe and Asia. The 
Organization of American States is an organization founded upon 
the freedom-loving traditions of Bolivar, of Washington, and of 
Abraham Lincoln. 

The 21 American Republics have been bound together by a sense of 
distinctive destiny, by a determination to prevent the extension to this 
hemisphere of either the colonial domain of European powers or the 
political system of European despotism. They have repeatedly 
pledged themselves to settle their own disputes as between themselves 
and to oppose the interposition into their midst of non-American 
influences, many of which were abhorrent to the ideals which gave 
birth to the American Republics and which sustained them in their 
determination to find a better international relationship than has yet 
been achieved at the universal level. 

Evidence of Communist Intervention 

There has recently been evidence that international communism, in 
its lust for world dominatioii, has b'j'>n seeking to gain control of the 


political institutions of the American States in violation of the basic 
principles which have from the beginning inspired them freely to 
achieve their own destiny and mission in the world. 

Now it is our belief that the great bulk of the people of Guatemala 
are opposed to the imposition upon them of the domination of alien 
despotism and have manifested their resistance just as have many other 
countries which international communism sought to make its victim. 
The Government of Guatemala claims that the fighting now going 
on there is the result of an aggression by Honduras and Nicaragua. 
It claims that it is a victim. It asks for an investigation. It is en- 
titled to have the facts brought to light. The procedures for doing 
that are clearly established within the regional Organization of 
American States. These states have established a permament Inter- 
American Peace Committee to handle problems of this nature. 
Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua all applied to that Committee 
for assistance in resolving this problem. The Committee has agreed 
to send a fact-finding committee to the area of controversy for that 
purpose. Guatemala has attempted to interrupt this wholesome 
process by first withdrawing its petition, and, second, by withholding 
its consent for the fact-finding committee to proceed with its task. 
Nevertheless, because the members of the Committee feel that it is 
inconceivable that Guatemala will obstruct the very investigation for 
which she has been clamoring for days, the Committee is firmly and 
vigorously preparing to proceed to the area of controversy. 

The Government of Guatemala has regularly exercised the priv- 
ileges and enjoyed all the advantages of membership in the Organiza- 
tion of American States, including those of attending and voting in 
its meetings. It is obligated by article 52, paragraph 2 of the charter, 
to "make every effort to achieve pacific settlement of local disputes 
through regional arrangements." Its efforts to bypass the Organiza- 
tion of American States is in substance a violation of article 52, para- 
graph 2. 

We hear today that Guatemala, after years of posing as a member 
of that Organization, now for the first time claims that she is not 
technically a member thereof. To have claimed and to have exercised 
all the privileges of membership for a number of years and then to 
disclaim the obligations and responsibilities is an example of duplicity 
which surely the Security Council should not condone. Either Guate- 
mala is a member of the Organization of American States and there- 
fore bound by article 62, paragraph 2, or else it is guilty of duplicity 
such that it cannot come before the Security Council with clean hands. 

Now, if we adopt the agenda, we in effect give one state, in this case 
(luatemala, a veto on the Organization of American States. It is not 
possible to do both. You do one at the expense of the other in this 


In any event, the United States is a member of the Organization 
of American States, and as such we are clearly bound by article 52, 
paragraph 2 of the charter. The United States is also bound by article 
20 of the charter of the Organization of American States which pro- 
vides : 

All International disputes that may arise between American States shall be 
snbmitted to the peaceful procedures set forth in the Charter before being 
referred to the Security Council of the United Nations. 

Well, that has been so for a long time. 

The United States does not deny the propriety of this danger to the 
peace from Guatemala being brought to the attention of the Security 
Council in accordance with article 35 of the charter, and that has 
been done. As I said, I called the meeting the day after I received the 
message. The United States is, however, both legally and as a matter 
of honor bound by its undertakings contained in article 52, paragraph 
2, of the charter and in article 20 of the charter of the Organization 
of American States to oppose Security Council consideration of this 
Guatemalan dispute upon the agenda of the Security Council until 
the matter has first been dealt with by the Organization of American 
States, which through its regularly constituted agencies is dealing 
actively with the problem now. 

The United States is in this matter moved by more than legal or 
technical considerations, and I recognize that. We do not lightly 
oppose consideration of any matter by the Security Council. We are, 
however, convinced that a failure by the Security Council to observe 
the restraints which were spelled out in the charter will be a grave 
blow to the entire system of international peace and security which 
the United Nations was designed to achieve. 

The proposal of Guatemala, supported most actively by the Soviet 
Union, which in this matter has already passed its 60th veto, is an 
effort to create international anarchy rather than international order. 
International communism seeks to win for itself support by constantly 
talking about its love of peace and international law and order. In 
fact, it is the promoter of international disorder. 

Gentlemen, this organization is faced by the same challenge which 
faced the founders at San Francisco in 1945. The task then was to 
find the words which would constitute a formula of reconciliation 
between universality and regionalism. And now the issue is whether 
those words will be given reality or whether they will be ignored. If 
they be ignored, the result will be to disturb the delicate but precious 
balance between regional and universal organizations and to place one 
against the other in a controversy which may well be fatal to them 

The balance struck by the charter was achieved at San Francisco 
in the face of violent ojjposition of the Soviet Union at that time. It 


sought from the beginning to secure for the Security Council, where 
it had the veto power, a monopoly of authority to deal with interna- 
tional disputes. Today international communism uses Guatemala as 
the tool whereby it can gain for itself the privileges which it was 
forced to forego at San Francisco. I say with all solemnity that, if the 
Security Council is the victim of that strategy and assumes jurisdic- 
tion over disputes which are the proper responsibility of regional 
organizations of a solid and serious character, then the clock of peace 
will have been turned back and disorder will replace order. 

The Guatemalan complaint can be used, as it is being used, as a tool 
to violate the basic principles of our charter. It is to prevent that 
result, which would set in motion a chain of disastrous events, that 
the United States feels compelled to oppose the adoption of the 
provisional agenda containing the Guatemalan complaint and appeals 
to the other members to join with us in avoiding a step which, under 
the guise of plausibility and liberality, will, in fact, engage this 
organization in a course so disorderly and so provocative of jurisdic- 
tional conflict that the future of both the United Nations and of the 
Organization of American States may be compromised and a grave 
setback given to the developing processes of international order. 




Approved June 25, 1954 

Whereas for many years it has been the joint policy of the United 
States and the other States in the Western Hemisphere to act vig- 
orously to prevent external interference in the affairs of the nations 
of the Western Hemisphere ; and 

Whereas in the recent past there has come to light strong evidence of 
intervention by the international Communist movement in the State 
of Guatemala, whereby government institutions have been infil- 
trated by Communist agents, weapons of war have been secretly 
sliipped into that country, and the pattern of Communist conquest 
has become manifest ; and 

Whereas on Sunday, June 20, 1954, the Soviet Government vetoed in 
the United Nations Security Council a resolution to refer the matter 
of the recent outbreak of hostilities in Guatemala to the Organiza- 
tion of American States : Therefore be it 

Resolved hy the Senate {the House of Representatives concurring)^ 
That it is tlie sense of Congress that the United States should re- 
affirm its support of the Caracas Declaration of Solidarity of March 
28, 1954, which is designed to prevent interference in Western Hemi- 
sphere affairs by the international Communist movement, and take 
all necessary and proper steps to support the Organization of Ameri- 
can States in taking appropriate action to prevent any interference 
by the international Communist movement in the affairs of the 
States of the Western Hemisphere. 


Statement by John C. Drcier, U. S. Representative to the Council oF the 
Organization of American States, June 28, 1954 

I speak today as the representative of one of 10 American countries 
who have joined in a request that a Meeting of Ministers of Foreign 
Affairs be convoked to act as Organ of Consultation under articles 6 
and 11 of the Inter- American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance. On 
behalf of the United States I wish to support this request with all the 
force and conviction that I can express, feeling profoundly as I and 
my countrymen do that this is a critical hour in which a strong and 
positive note of inter- American solidarity must be sounded. 

The Republics of America are faced at this time with a serious 
threat to their peace and independence. Throughout the world the 
aggressive forces of Soviet Communist imperialism are exerting a 
relentless pressure upon all free nations. Since 1939, 15 once free 
nations have fallen prey to the forces directed by the Kremlin. Hun- 
dreds of millions of people in Europe and Asia have been pressed into 
the slavery of the Communist totalitarian state. Subversion, civil 
violence, and open warfare are the proven methods of this aggressive 
force in its ruthless striving for world domination. 

Following World War II, in which millions of men died to free 
the world from totalitarianism, the forces of Communist imperialism 
took on a freshly aggressive aspect. The first objectives of this new 
drive for domination were the countries of Eastern Europe and the 
Balkans. Efforts to overcome Greece and Iran failed because of the 
heroic resistance of peoples whose courage not only gave them strength 
to defend their independence but also brought them the moral and 
material support of other countries directly and through interna- 
tional organizations. 

Communist forces then turned their attention to Asia. Following 
the fall of China came the stark aggression of the Korean war where 
once more the united forces of the free world, acting through the 
United Nations, stemmed the tide of Soviet Communist imperialism. 

More recently, we have seen the combination of Communist sub- 
version and political power, backed with weapons from the Com- 
munist arsenal, strike deep into Southeast Asia and threaten to 
engulf another populous area of the world as it emerges from 

And now comes the attack on America. 



Until very recently we of the Americas, here in our continental 
bastion, have felt ourselves relatively far from the field of open con- 
flict. To be sure, in all our countries the international Communist 
organization has for some time undertaken its insidious work of 
attempting to undermine our institutions and to achieve positions of 
influence in public and private organizations. But only within the 
last few years has there been evidence of a real success on the part 
of the international Communist organization in carrying to this 
hemisphere the plagues of internal strife, and subservience to a for- 
eign imperialism, which had previously been inflicted upon other 
areas of the world. That success marks the problem for which the 
treaty of Rio de Janeiro is now invoked as a measure of continental 

Mr. Chairman, this is not the time and place in which to enter into 
a discussion of the substance of the problem which will be placed 
before the Organ of Consultation when it meets. At this time it is 
the function of the Council merely to consider the validity of the 
request that the Organ of Consultation be convoked. 

In support of the request for a meeting, I should like to cite briefly 
the following compelling arguments. 

Anti-Communist Declarations 

First, the American Republics have several times during recent 
years clearly and unequivocally stated their opposition to the objec- 
tives and methods of the international Communist movement which, 
by its very nature, is incompatible with the high principles that govern 
the international relations of the American States. This viewpoint 
was clearly enunciated at the Ninth Inter-American Conference, 
which in Resolution 32 declared that by its antidemocratic nature and 
its interventionist tendency the political activity of international com- 
munism was incompatible with the concept of American freedom. 
This thought was echoed at the Fourth Meeting of Foreign Ministers 
which, furthermore, pointed out that the subversive action of inter- 
national communism recognized no frontiers and called for a high de- 
gree of international cooperation among the American Republics 
against the danger which such actions represented. 

Only a few months ago at Caracas the American States expressed 
their determination to take the necessary measures to protect their 
political independence against the intervention of international com- 
munism, and declared that the domination or control of the political 
institutions of any American State by the international Communist 
movement would constitute a threat to the sovereignty and political 
independence of the American States, endangering the peace of 


There is no doubt, Mr. Chairman, that it is the declared policy of 
the American States that the establishment of a government domi- 
nated by the international Communist movement in America would 
constitute a grave danger to all our American Republics and that 
steps must be taken to prevent any such eventuality. 
Communist Penetration in Guatemala 

Second, I should like to affirm the fact that there is already abun- 
dant evidence that the international Communist movement has 
achieved an extensive penetration of the political institutions of one 
American State, namely the Republic of Guatemala, and now seeks 
to exploit that country for its own ends. This assertion, which my 
Government is prepared to support with convincing detail at the right 
time, is clearly warranted by the open opposition of the Guatemalan 
Government to any form of inter- American action that might check 
or restrain the progress of the international Commimist movement in 
this continent; by the open association of that Government with the 
policies and objectives of the Soviet Union in international affairs; 
by the evidences of close collaboration of the authorities in Guatemala 
and authorities in Soviet-dominated states of Europe for the purpose 
of obtaining under secret and illegal arrangements the large shipment 
of arms which arrived on board the M/'S Alfhem on May 15, 1954 ; by 
the efforts of Guatemala in the United Nations Security Council, in 
collaboration with the Soviet Union, to prevent the Organization of 
American States, the appropriate regional organization, from dealing 
with her recent allegations of aggression, and finally by the vigorous 
and sustained propaganda campaign of the Soviet press and radio, 
echoed by the international Communist propaganda machine through- 
out the world in support of Guatemalan action in the present crisis. 

The recent outbreak of violence in Guatemala adds a further sense 
of urgency to the matter. We well know from experience in other 
areas into which the international Communist movement has pene- 
trated the tragic proportions to which this inevitable violent conflict 
may ultimately extend. 

The above facts, Mr. Chairman, I submit, are more than enough to 
demonstrate the need for a prompt meeting of the Organ of Consulta- 
tion as has been proposed in the note which was read at this meeting 

Within the last 24 hours it appears that there has been a change in 
the Government of Guatemala. It is not possible, however, in the 
opinion of my Government, to arrive at any considered judgment of 
how this change may affect the problem with which we are concerned. 
Under the circumstances, it would appear to be essential that we do not 
relax our efforts at this moment, but proceed with our plans in order 
to be ready for any eventuality. At the same time, we should of course 


all watch developments in Guatemala carefully and be prepared sub- 
sequently to take whatever steps may prove necessary in the light of 
future events. 

I should like to emphasize the fact that the object of our concern, 
and the force against which we must take defensive measures, is an 
alien, non- American force. It is the international Communist organ- 
ization controlled in the Kremlin which has created the present dan- 
ger. That it is rapidly making a victim of one American State in- 
creases our concern for that country and our determination to unite 
in a defense of all 21 of our American nations. We are conhdent 
that the international Communist movement holds no real appeal for 
the peoples of America and can only subdue them if allowed to pur- 
sue its violent and deceitful methods unchecked. Having read the 
tragic history of other nations seduced by Communist promises into a 
slavery from which they later could not escape, we wish to leave no 
stone unturned, no effort unexerted, to prevent the complete sub- 
ordination of one of our member states to Soviet Communist im- 
perialism. For when one state has fallen, history shows that another 
will soon come under attack. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, in the Americas we have established ways for 
dealing with these problems that affect the common safety. We are 
pledged to maintain continental peace and security through our 
solidarity expressed in consultation and joint effort. In the Inter- 
American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance we have the vehicle through 
which we can merge our individual efforts in order to take the meas- 
ures necessary for the maintenance of continental peace and security. 
The meeting of the Organ of Consultation which we request here today 
is in f ulhllment of the principles and procedures which the American 
Republics have laid down for dealing with threats to their independ- 
ence, sovereignty, and peace. If that system of international rela- 
tions of which the peoples of this hemisphere are so rightfully proud 
is to endure, it must resolutely meet the challenge which Soviet Com- 
munist imiierialism has now thrown down to it. 

If we take a valiant course and courageously face the danger which 
menaces us we will again prove, as America has proved in the past, 
the power of our united will. That, I am sure, we shall do because 
of what is at stake. There hang in the balance not only the security 
of this continent but the continued vitality and existence of the Or- 
ganization of American States and the high principles upon which it is 
founded. In our decisions at this hour we may well profoundly affect 
the future of our American way of life. 

Mr. Chairman, I urge that this Council promptly approve the pro- 
posal that the Organ of Consultation be invoked ; that the date be set 
as of July 7 next; and that the decision be taken here and now so that 



the entire world may be given evidence of our determination to act 
effectively in the present crisis.^ 

* The Council voted on June 28 to convoke a Meeting of Ministers of Foreign 
Affairs at Eio de Janeiro on July 7. On July 2, following the cease-fire la 
Guatemala on June 29 and the reaching of a settlement on July 1, the Council 
decided to postpone the Meeting of Foreign Ministers. 


807858 -04 S 



Radio and Television Address by Secretary Dulles, June 30, 1954 

Tonight I should like to talk with you about Guatemala. It is the 
scene of dramatic events. They expose the evil purpose of the Kremlin 
to destroy the inter- American system, and they test the ability of the 
American States to maintain the peaceful integrity of this hemisphere. 

For several years international communism has been probing here 
and there for nesting places in the Americas. It finally chose Guate- 
mala as a spot wliich it could turn into an official base from which to 
breed subversion which would extend to other American Republics. 

This intrusion of Soviet despotism was, of course, a direct challenge 
to our Monroe Doctrine, the first and most fundamental of our foreign 

It is interesting to recall that the menace which brought that doc- 
trine into being was itself a menace born in Russia. It was the Russian 
Czar Alexander and his despotic allies in Europe who, early in the 
last century, sought control of South America and the western part of 
North America. In 1823 President Monroe confronted this challenge 
with his declaration that the European despots could not "extend their 
political system to any portion of either continent without endanger- 
ing our peace and happiness. We would not," he said, "behold such 
interposition in any form with indifference." 

These sentiments were shared by the other American Republics, 
and they were molded into a foreign policy of us all. For 131 years 
that policy has well served the peace and security of this hemisphere. 
It serves us well today. 

In Guatemala, international communism had an initial success. It 
began 10 years ago, when a revolution occurred in Guatemala. The 
revolution was not without justification. But the Communists seized 
on it, not as an opportunity for real reform, but as a chance to gain 
political power. 

Communist agitators devoted themselves to infiltrating the public 
and private organizations of Guatemala. They sent recruits to Russia 
and other Communist countries for revolutionary training and indoc- 
trination in such institutions as the Lenin School at Moscow. Operat- 
ing in the guise of "reformers" they organized the worlcers and peas- 
ants under Communist leadership. Having gained control of what 
they call "mass organizations," they moved on to take over the oflicial 


press and radio of the Guatemalan Government. They dominated the 
social security organization and ran the agrarian reform program. 
Through the technique of the "popular front" they dictated to the 
Congress and the President. 

The judiciary made one valiant attempt to protect its integrity and 
independence. But the Commimists, using their control of the legis- 
lative body, caused the Supreme Court to be dissolved when it refused 
to give approval to a Communist-contrived law. Arbenz, who until 
this week was President of Guatemala, was openly manipulated by the 
leaders of communism. 

Guatemala is a small country. But its power, standing alone, is not 
a measure of the threat. The master plan of international commu- 
nism is to gain a solid political base in this hemisphere, a base that can 
be used to extend Communist penetration to the other peoples of the 
other American Governments. It was not the power of the Arbenz 
government that concerned us but the power behind it. 

If world communism captures any American State, however small, 
a new and perilous front is established which will increase the danger 
to the entire free world and require even greater sacrifices from the 
American people. 

The Declaration at Caracas 

This situation in Guatemala had become so dangerous that the 
American States could not ignore it. At Caracas last March the Amer- 
ican States held their Tenth Inter- American Conference. They then 
adopted a momentous statement. They declared that "the domina- 
tion or control of the political institutions of any American State by 
the international Communist movement . . . would constitute a 
threat to the sovereignty and political independence of the American 
States, endangering the peace of America." 

There was only one American State that voted against this declara- 
tion. That State was Guatemala. 

This Caracas declaration precipitated a dramatic chain of events. 
From their European base the Communist leaders moved rapidly to 
build up the mihtary power of their agents in Guatemala. In May a 
large shipment of arms moved from behind the Iron Curtain into 
(juatemala. The shipment was sought to be secreted by false mani- 
fests and false clearances. Its ostensible destination was changed 
three times while en route. 

At the same time, the agents of international communism in Guate- 
mala intensified efforts to penetrate and subvert the neighboring Cen- 
tral American States. They attempted political assassinations and 
political strikes. They used consular agents for political warfare. 

Many Guatemalan people protested against their being used by 
Communist dictatorship to serve the Communists' lust for power. 
The response was mass arrests, the suppression of constitutional guar- 


anties, the killing of opposition leaders, and other brutal tactics 
normally employed by communism to secure the consolidation of its 

In the face of these events and in accordance with the spirit of the 
Caracas declaration, the nations of this hemisphere laid further plans 
to grapple with the danger. The Arbenz government responded with 
an effort to disrupt the inter- American system. Because it enjoyed the 
full support of Soviet Kussia, which is on the Security Council, it 
tried to bring the matter before the Security Council. It did so with- 
out first referring the matter to the American regional organization 
as is called for both by the United Nations Charter itself and by the 
treaty creating the American organization. 

The Foreign Minister of Guatemala openly connived in this matter 
with the Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union. The two were in 
open correspondence and ill-concealed privity. The Security Council 
at first voted overwhelmingly to refer the Guatemala matter to the 
Organization of American States. The vote was 10 to 1. But that 
one negative vote was a Soviet veto. 

Then the Guatemalan Government, with Soviet backing, redoubled 
its efforts to supplant the American States system by Security Council 

However, last Friday, the United Nations Security Council decided 
not to take up the Guatemalan matter but to leave it in the first in- 
stance to the American States themselves. That was a triumph for 
the system of balance between regional organization and world organ- 
ization, which the American States had fought for when the charter 
was drawn up at San Francisco. 

The American States then moved promptly to deal with the situa- 
tion. Their peace commission left yesterday for Guatemala. Earlier 
the Organization of American States had voted overwhelmingly to 
call a meeting of their Foreign Ministers to consider the penetration 
of international communism in Guatemala and the measures required 
to eliminate it. Never before has there been so clear a call uttered 
with such a sense of urgency and strong resolve. 

Altempt To Obscure Issue 

Throughout the period I have outlined, the Guatemalan Govern- 
ment and Communist agents throughout the world have persistently 
attempted to obscure the real issue— that of Communist imperial- 
ism—by claiming that the United States is only interested in pro- 
tecting American business. We regret that there have been disputes 
between the Guatemalan Government and the United Fruit Company. 
We have urged repeatedly that these disputes be submitted for settle- 
ment to an international tribunal or to international arbitration. That 
is the way to dispose of problems of this sort. But this issue is 
relatively unimportant. All who know the temper of the U. S. people 


and Government must realize that our overriding concern is that 
which, with others, we recorded at Caracas, namely the endanger- 
ing by international communism of the peace and security of this 

The people of Guatemala have not been heard from. Despite the 
armaments piled up by the Arbenz government, it was unable to enlist 
the spiritual cooperation of the people. 

Led by Col, Castillo Armas, patriots arose in Guatemala to chal- 
lenge the Communist leadership— and to change it. Thus, the situa- 
tion is being cured by the Guatemalans themselves. 

Last Sunday, President Arbenz of Guatemala resigned and seeks 
asylum. Others are following his example. 

Tonight, just as I speak, Col. Castillo Armas is in conference in 
El Salvador with Colonel Monzon, the head of tLe Council which 
has taken over the power in Guatemala City. It was this power that 
the just wrath of the Guatemalan people wrested from President 
Arbenz, who then took flight. 

Now the future of Guatemala lies at the disposal of the Guatemalan 
people themselves. It lies also at the disposal of leaders loyal to Guate- 
mala who have not treasonably become the agents of an alien despotism 
which sought to use Guatemala for its own evil ends. 

The events of recent months and days add a new and glorious chap- 
ter to the already great tradition of the American States. 

Each one of the American States has cause for profound gratitude. 
We can all be grateful that we showed at Caracas an impressive soli- 
darity in support of our American institutions. I may add that we are 
prepared to do so again at the conference called for Rio. Advance 
knowledge of that solidarity undoubtedly shook the Guatemalan 

We can be grateful that the Organization of American States showed 
that it could act quickly and vigorously in aid of peace. There was 
proof that our American organization is not just a paper organization, 
but that it has vigor and vitality to act. 

We can be grateful to the United Nations Security Council, which 
recognized the right of regional organizations in the first instance 
to order their own affairs. Otherwise the Soviet Russians would have 
started a controversy which would have set regionalism against uni- 
versality and gravely wounded both. 

Above all, we can be grateful that there were loyal citizens of 
Guatemala who, in the face of terrorism and violence and against 
what seemed insuperable odds, had the courage and the will to elimi- 
nate the traitorous tools of foreign despots. 

The need for vigilance is not past. Communism is still a menace 
everywhere. But the people of the United States and of the other 
American Republics can feel tonight that at least one grave danger 


has been averted. Also an example is set which promises increased 
security for the future. The ambitious and unscrupulous will be less 
prone to feel that communism is the wave of their future. 

In conclusion, let me assure the people of Guatemala. As peace and 
freedom are restored to that sister Republic, the Government of the 
United States will continue to support the just aspirations of the 
Guatemalan people. A prosperous and progressive Guatemala is 
vital to a healthy hemisphere. The United States pledges itself not 
merely to i)olitical opposition to communism but to help to alleviate 
conditions in Guatemala and elsewhere which i^Jght afford com- 
munism an opportunity to spread its tentacles throughout the hemi- 
sphere. Thus we shall seek in positive ways to make our Americas an 
example which will inspire men everywhere. 




(Partido Guatemaltcco del trabajo) 


(Revision May 1954) 

The situation in Guatemala has changed since the folhwing 
documents were prepared. Neverfhe/ess, it is the view of the 
Government of the United States that the free nations and peoples 
of the world will find these documents valuable and important as 
a case history of a bold attempt on the pari of m/ernafiono/ com- 
munism fo get a foothold in the Western Hemisphere by gaining 
control of the political institutions of an American Republic. 



The Partido Guatemalteco del Trabajo (The Guatemalan Labor 
Party — PGT), a Communist party modeled on and guided by the 
Soviet Communist Party, is the most influential single political or- 
ganization in present-day Guatemala. Its influence on Guatemalan 
political life is probably greater than that exercised in any other 
Latin American country by any local Communist party. The char- 
acteristics of its growth and successes provide perhaps the most re- 
vealing insight into the adaptation of international Communist strat- 
egy to the Latin American environment. 

The PGT is a party of young ladino^ "intellectuals," of the lower 
middle class. Its founders and present leaders are young school- 
teachers, ex-university students, journalists, white collar workers and 
former employees of United States and foreign enterprises in Guate- 
mala. This was the sector of society most frustrated under the archaic 
social structure of Guatemala, a small Central American State of 
some 3,000,000 inhabitants which until after World War II remained 
a backward dictator-ridden agricultural country where 2 percent of 
the landholdings covered YO percent of the arable land, and over half 
the population consisted of illiterate Indians living apart from the 
main currents of twentieth century life. 

In the intellectually fermenting years of the 1930's and of World 
War II, many of these intellectuals became attracted to nationalism 
and Marxism as offering a way out for Guatemala. 

The mold of the Guatemalan Communist movement was the 1944 
revolution and the 1945-51 administration of President Juan Jose 
Arevalo, a self -proclaimed "spiritual socialist" schoolteacher. The 
revolution, which overthrew the last vestiges of the 13-year regime 
of Gen. Jorge ITbico, originally had the support of all of the middle 
classes but its leading element was the lower middle class intellectual 
gi-onp whicli sought to apply their nationalist and Marxist theories 
to bring about Guatemala's social transformation. Conscious of in- 
experience, they relied heavily for direction in labor and political 
organization on foreigners and Guatemalan exiles who had been in- 
volved in Connnunist activities in Latin America and who flocked to 
Guatemala after the 1944 revolution, largely unnoticed by the out- 

'A Jailiix) in (Jiialciiiiilii !•< n porson who hn.s ndoiilcd Kuniiwiiii cultural 
sliiiKlnnlH ((>. «.. Wcslcni ilrcss) luul may be racially a pure Indiiin as well as a 
pcrsiin of irii\('<l 1)I<kj(1. 


side world. These Communist personalities, including such figures 
as Alfonso Solorzano, a Guatemalan labor lawyer closely associated 
with Vicente Lombardo Toledano in Mexico, and Miguel Marmol, 
a Salvadoran labor organizer, educated a younger generation of native 
Guatemalan "intellectuals" in Communist doctrine by such devices as 
establishing an indoctrination school in the new National Labor Fed- 
eration, disseminating Communist propaganda in the administration's 
"revolutionary" political parties and establishing Marxist "study 

Guatemala's postwar Communist party crystallized as a clandestine 
organization hidden within the Guatemalan "revolutionary" parties 
and labor unions supporting the Arevalo administration. According 
to its present leaders, it was first successfully founded on September 
28, 1947, under the name of the Vanguardia Democrdtica as the pre- 
cursor of the Guatemalan Communist Party which held its first con- 
gress 2 years later. Its leader from 1948 onward was Jose Manuel 
Fortuny, then a 32-year-old ex-law student, former radio newscaster, 
and ex-employee of the British Legation and of an American com- 
pany. Sterling Products, Inc. At the time, he was ostensibly an officer 
of the Partido Accion Revolncionaria (PAR), a leading- administra- 
tion party. Other probable members of the first clandestine Com- 
munist organization were also members of the PAR, the other admin- 
istration parties, and the labor unions. On September 28, 1949, a 
day from which the present Communist Party dates its anniversaries, 
this secret Communist group held its First Party Congress and 
adopted the name of Partido Comunvita de Guatemala (PCG) . But 
it was not until May 1950, in the last year of the Arevalo administra- 
tion, that Fortuny and his group withdrew from the PAR. The fol- 
lowing month they founded a newspaper, Octubre^ as the frank pre- 
cursor of an open Communist party, and at the same time Victor 
Manuel Gutierrez, a 29-year-old schoolteacher turned labor leader, 
founded a Communist-line party under the title of the Partido Revo- 
lucionario Ohrero de Guatemala (The Revolutionary Workers Party 
of Guatemala— PROG) . 

When Col. Jacobo Arbenz, a radical leftist-nationalist army officer, 
assumed the Presidency on March 15, 1951, the PCG began to make 
rapid strides toward becoming an open party. In April Fortuny 
began publicly signing documents as "Secretary General of the 
Partido Commiista de Guatemala.'''' In June, on the first anniversary 
of the newspaper Octulre, the PCG held a public ceremony attended 
by several high government figures and proclaimed its intention to 
become a legally registered party. In October, Guatemala's labor 
unions were consolidated into the Confederacion General de Traba- 
^adores de Guatemala (CGTG) with Gutierrez, by that time an 
avowed Communist, as its Secretary General. In January 1952, after 


a trip to Moscow, Gutierrez dissolved his PROG and joined the PCG 
which shortly thereafter achieved recognition in the Cominform 
Journal published in Bucharest. In October, the party was included 
with the other administration parties in the "Democratic Electoral 
Front" for the impending congressional elections. In December, the 
party held its Second Party Congress, changed its name to the Partido 
Guatemalteco del Trabajo (PGT), and was shortly thereafter entered 
on the Civil Registry as a legally constituted political party. 

The PGT, as it thus emerged, is a Communist party modeled on the 
Soviet Communist Party of the Stalinist era. Its statutes concentrate 
power in the hands of the Secretary General and the Political Com- 
mittee whose dictates are binding on subordinate regional party or- 
ganizations and cells (Basic Organizations) which are scattered 
through most of Guatemala with the heaviest concentration in he 

Statistics on party membership have never been made public, but the 
best evidence in the spring of 1954 indicates that 3,000 would be a 
minimum and 4,000 a likely figure. In addition to registered PGT 
members, however, there is an indeterminate number of influential 
intellectual Communists who have apparently not joined Fortuny's 
PGT and sometimes appear to be quarreling with it on organizational 
and tactical grounds though not on ultimate objectives. 

The PGT leadership, headed by Fortuny as party Secretary Gen- 
eral, consists of characteristically young ladinos of the lower middle 
class. The known ages of the 11-man Political Committee range 
from Fortuny's 37 to 24, with the exception of one member who is 
47. Seven of the 11 were university students or schoolteachers 
(some with sidelines in journalism or oflEice work) before entering 
politics while the remaining four were skilled workers including a 
printer, a carpenter, and a tailor. There are no pure Indians and none 
who have been previously employed in industry or transportation. 

The party leadership is closely tied to Moscow. Fortuny and at 
least 5 others of the 11 on the Political Committee have visited Moscow 
and the key personnel of the Communist-controlled labor and 
"mass organizations" have also been there. There is a constant flow 
of propaganda material and instructions from Moscow and from the 
Soviet-controlled international labor and "mass" organizations to 

The PGT publicly recognizes its debt to what it terms the "exam- 
ple" of the Soviet Communist Party and its aims and tactics must be 
viewed in the framework of the orthodox Communist thesis of the 
"inevitable victory" of communism throughout the world rather than 
on the local plane of gaining control of the Guatemalan Government 
as quickly as possible. In international affairs, the party has empha- 
sized as its first task the "Peace" campaign which is defined as prevent- 


ing the harnessing of Guatemala to the "war chariot of imperialism" — 
i. e. preventing Guatemala from taking its role in the defense of the 
Western democratic community grouped around the United States. 
As the corollary in domestic Guatemalan politics the PGT has an- 
nounced as its first task the implementation of Guatemala's 1952 
Agrariaii Reform Law which is designed to transfer much of the coun- 
try's potential arable land to new small farmers, and as its second the 
heightening of the struggle against United States "monopolistic" com- 
panies operating in Guatemala. These domestic programs tend 
toward the breakdown of the established order and are thus simul- 
taneously adapted to the immediate objective of weakening Guate- 
mala's position in the Western community and the ultimate objective 
of preparing the ground for the Communists' coming to power. 

The PGT leadership attempts to achieve its objectives largely 
through indirect influence and control over government agencies, 
political and labor organizations, and Communist-front youth, stu- 
dents', and women's pressure groups. In the government, as illustrated 
b}^ its 1951-54 growth, the party's chief asset is the sympathy of Presi- 
dent Arbenz, with whose approval key government posts are filled 
with party workers and sympathizers. A key instrument is the "Na- 
tional Democratic Front," the formal alliance of the political parties 
and labor organizations supporting Arbenz which is dominated by the 
Communists and has all but replaced the Cabinet as a policy making 
agency. The National Agrarian Department is the stronghold of 
avowed PGT members; the government educational and propaganda 
systems have been infiltrated with numbers of Communists; and the 
Guatemalan Institute of Social Security with its large cash income 
is dominated by Solorzano and his group. 

The PGT's ability to influence the government is greatly enhanced 
by its control and influence over organized Guatemalan labor which 
takes in well over 100,000 workers as compared to a total vote in the 
1950 presidential elections of 416,000. In the CGTG, the Secretary 
General is Gutierrez, head of the PGT Central Committee's Labor 
Union Comnaission, and most of the officers in key positions on the 
Executive Committee are PGT members and the party's control of 
the organization is effective. To a somewhat lesser extent, the PGT 
exerts iniluence over the Confederacion Naoional Campesina de Guate- 
mala (CNCG), the national federation of small farmers, tenants, and 
those organized farm laborers not incorporated in the CGTG. Its 
principal leaders have been associated with such Communist causes as 
the "Peace" movement and its program is closely in line with those of 
the PGT. 

The principal "mass" organizations which support the party's 
efforts are the National Peace Committee, whose Secretary General is 
Mario Silva Jonama, Secretary of the PGT and head of its Edu- 


cation Commission ; the AUanza de la Juventud Democrdtica de Guate- 
mala (AJDG), the youth organization whose Secretary General is 
Edelberto Torres Rivas, a 1953 visitor to Moscow, and one of whose 
most influential leaders is Huberto Alvarado, member of the PGT 
Central Committee and head of its Youth Commission; and the 
AUanza Femenina Guatemalteca (AFG), the women's organization 
whose Secretary General is Dora Franco y Franco, a Communist 
and one of whose founding members was Sra. de Arbenz. These 
organizations with the aid of the administration parties and the 
labor unions have recently set themselves a goal of 125,000 signatures 
on a "Peace" petition, thus giving an indication of their ability to sim- 
ulate "mass support" for Communistic causes. 

The PGT has thus become in 1954 the most influential single organi- 
zation in Guatemalan political life and has established its dominion 
over the key institutions in Guatemalan political life, with the ex- 
ception of the armed forces, which, however, have not opposed com- 
munism. The momentum it has achieved indicates further successes 
unless there is a change in the world situation or a successful but un- 
foreseeable revolt by the Guatemalan Army or some other group. The 
party still has a few weaknesses : It still relies to a great extent on the 
good will of the Guatemalan President and his replacement by one 
less sympathetic to communism would be a serious blow; it is still 
faced to some extent with the danger that the Guatemalan revolution 
will turn into opportunist un-Communist channels since the indoctri- 
nation of most of the current sympathizers outside of the party is only 
superficial ; and in the last analysis it is dependent on the international 
Communist movement for guidance and cohesion and probably could 
not long survive a major Soviet setback. However, the PGT has 
the salient advantage that it alone has the political initiative with the 
administration parties tending increasingly to follow in its ideologi- 
cal wake while the opposition has for the past 18 months increasingly 
become sterile and ineffectual. Moreover, the path of agrarian re- 
form and extreme nationalism on which the Arbenz administration 
has hurried has been directed at breaking down the existing order with- 
out an immediate substitute, a situation which cannot but enhance the 
Communist position. 


Section I 



1. The Guatemalan Environment: The post World War II Commu- 
nist movement in Guatemala crystallized in one small segment of the 
social organism, the lower middle class ladino "intellectual" group of 
schoolteachers, poor students, journalists and the like, and this did 
much to shape its future growth. The appeal of communism to this 
group may be traced to its frustration at the failure of the Guatemalan 
community to make substantial progress for at least two generations 
prior to World War II in adjusting its political, social, and economic 
structure in harmony with the ideals of the modern world. 

Guatemala remained until after World War II essentially a back- 
ward coffee-growing agricultural country in which a few landlords 
controlled large groups of illiterate Indian laborers. The 1,500,000 
Indians who make up half of the country's population,^ according to 
recent anthropological surveys, have continued to live separated from 
the main currents of modern life, entrenched in ancient customs trace- 
able to the Maya era. The country's population (about 2,800,000) and 
its area (about 42,000 square miles) are both roughly comparable to 
those of the State of Tennessee, but in 1948 the per capita share of 
the gross national product in Guatemala was less than one-tenth that 
in the United States. Illiteracy, by Guatemalan statistical standards, 
still stands at about 70 percent and probably less than 5 percent of the 
adult male population has an education comparable to a U. S. high 
school education. The bases of the society, in short, changed very little 
in the 4 centuries since the Spanish Conquest in 1529 despite some 
abortive efforts at modernization in the late nineteenth and first part 
of the twentieth centuries. 

Conditions in Guatemala, furthermore, were materially different 
than those which led to the growth of Communist parties in Western 
Europe. The Guatemalan society, despite its social backwardness, 

' The 1950 Guatemalan census gives 54 percent as the percentage of Indians in 
the country, based on cultural rather than racial characteristics. Anthropolo- 
t;ists generally agree that the percentage of pure or nearly pure Indians is higher. 
The remainder of the; population is considered in the census as ladinoH, that is 
persons of European culture, most but not all of whom are of mixed Spanish and 
Indian blood. 


liad no true tradition of social revolution, although like other Latin 
American countries it had its share of "revolutions" which were seldom 
more than military coups transferring power from one clique to an- 
other. The landowning classes and the bulk of the middle classes 
were unresponsive to the broad appeal of social change and resistant 
to the narrower attraction of communism, and there was no industrial 
proletariat to speak of. There was no corps of experienced, Moscow- 
trained Communists to take charge of developments nor an under- 
ground party. The Marxist-oriented among the lower middle class, 
thus, represented virtually the only element in the social environment 
favorable for the cultivation of a Communist growth. 

2. Attempts at Social Transformations {1870-1932) : In the last 
two generations before World War II there were several unsuccessful 
efforts to overcome the archaic structure of Guatemalan society. The 
first of significance was made by Gen. Justo Rufino Barrios, dominant 
figure of Guatemalan politics from 1871 to 1885 and President for the 
last 11 of those years. This was a time when Guatemala was be- 
ginning to feel the impact of the ideas of the liberal revolutions and 
movements that had swept across the Western World in the previous 
half century with the industrial revolution and when the feudal 
society established with the Spanish Conquest was weakened. Bar- 
rios, a dictator, attempted a start at bringing Guatemala into line with 
the thought of his day by fostering an embryonic state school system, 
severely restricting the temporal power of the church, establishing 
a national military academy, improving communications, and other 

Despite his efforts, Barrios did not succeed in overcoming the inertia 
of society. In his effort to establish a businesslike agricultural 
structure he expropriated communal lands of the Indians, pieced 
together large plantations, introduced the commercial growth of coffee, 
and encouraged immigration to develop the new economy. The prob- 
ably unforeseen result was that the Indian further lost his independ- 
ence and became to a large extent the victim of "debt-slavery." The 
decaying landowner-Indian relationship of the Spanish heritage was 
thus revived and perpetuated in another form. 

Barrios also established the first of a long series of "Liberal'* au- 
thoritarian regimes which were to last through the era of Gen. 
Jorge Ubico (1932-44). Ironically, the professed admiration of 
Barrios and some of his "Liberal" successor for U. S. and Western 
European democracy (July 4 and July 14 have since been maintained 
as Guatemalan national holidays) was later to prove a factor in turn- 
ing the intellectuals opposing the "Liberal" dictatorships away from 
Western democracy. 

After Barrios' era, an indirect but equally unsuccessful challenge 
to the existing structure slowly developed in the form of a small 


middle class. Without altering its basic internal structure, Guatemala 
assimilated in the late nineteenth and first part of the twentieth 
centuries some of the technological advances of the outer world. For- 
eign capital started work on, and a U. S. company completed and still 
owns, the International Railways of Central America (IRCA). The 
United Fruit Company began what was to become the largest pro- 
ductive enterprise in the country. Commercial products of expanding 
U. S. and European industries entered the Guatemalan market in 
increasing quantities, demands were created for modern medicine, and 
eventually the introduction of automobiles and airplanes began a 
transformation of this small mountainous country's communications. 

The middle class which evolved to furnish the merchants, profes- 
sional men, educators, and technicians to service these assimilations 
had the most contacts with the outside world and became the social 
stratum most conscious of Guatemala's social backwardness. How- 
ever, this class eventually divided into one segment which was drawn 
to the idea of progress by evolutionary means and another segment 
drawn to reform by revolutionary means. The majority of the middle 
class obtained in the years 1871-1944 a sufficient stake in the economy 
to be content to hope for modernization by evolutionary means. The 
minority, made up of those "intellectual" elements such as school- 
teachers, whose resentment of Guatemala's backwardness was sharp- 
ened by lack of ties to the existing structure, became something of an 
insoluble lump in the Guatemalan social organism. This was not 
perhaps because of any conscious desire for separation on the part of 
the "intellectuals" but more probably because the archaic social struc- 
ture would not provide the necessary solvent. Frustrated in their 
desire to provide ideological orientation to an evolutionary society, 
they lived traditionless on the periphery of the national life, often 
with makeshift personal lives and prey to the facile "isms" which 
seemed to provide a formula for quick solution to the problems they 

3. The Intellectuals 1932-U ; During the 1930's and World War II, 
when liberal ideas of social experimentation were waxing in the in- 
dustrialized countries and nationalism was sweeping the imderdevel- 
oped areas, Guatemala was living under the authoritarian regime of 
President Ubico, and the Guatemalan lower middle class "intellec- 
tuals" who were to play a leading part in post- World War II political 
developments were bitterly opposed to the regime and disposed to be 
drawn to these "isms." Nationalism paradoxically provided much 
of the fertile soil from which international Communist ideology was 
to grow in Guatemala. The eventual contradictions between these 
two "isms" remained imperceptible to most of Guatemala's radical 
intellect»ials, for nationalism with its overtones of equality and sov- 
ereignty of joeoples provided a ready means to blame Guatemala's 


backwardness on foreign "imperialist" exploitation while communism 
provided a dialectic explanation of "imperialism" and a concrete cause 
dedicated to overcoming it. 

The thinking of Guatemala's intellectuals during the 1930's and the 
early 1940's thus became covered with a glaze of nationalism and 
Marxism, a scrambled compound which was short of the full strength 
of militant communism. This was the time that leading intellectuals, 
partly escaping the atmosphere of the Ubico regime and partly sepa- 
rating themselves from the frustrations of an intellectual's role in 
Guatemala, scattered abroad. Dr. Juan Jose Arevalo, the school- 
teacher who was to become Guatemala's first postwar "revolutionary" 
President, was in Argentina where he further evolved the pro-Com- 
munist ideology he was to label "spiritual socialism"; Luis Cardoza 
y Aragon, the leading poet and critic who was to serve many Com- 
munist-front postwar causes, was associating with leftist circles in 
Paris; Alfonso Solorzano Fernandez, who was to play a role in the 
ideological orientation and organizational training of the younger 
Communists and who is now manager of the Guatemalan Institute 
of Social Security (IGSS), was in Mexico as a labor lawyer and 
organizer working directly with Vicente Lombardo Toledano, the 
Communist labor leader; Jorge Garcia Granados, son of one of 
Guatemala's leading political families who was later to turn back to 
a moderate leftish line after participating in Guatemala's early post- 
war leftist political parties, was associating with extremist revolution- 
ary circles in Mexico; and Roberto Alvarado Fuentes, who was to 
be instrumental in the organization of Guatemalan Communist- 
oriented groups and to rise to the presidency of the Guatemalan Con- 
gress, was a radical pro-Communist in Chile. Although several of 
these men were themselves moderately well to do, their Guatemalan 
following was drawn from the poorer students and lower middle class 
"intellectual" elements. 

At home in Guatemala the nationalist-Marxist approach must have 
achieved an important role in the intellectuals' outlook, although the 
authoritarian Ubico regimes prevented organized expression of it. 
Enrique Muiioz Meany, the late pro-Communist Foreign Minister 
and Minister to France, taught several of Guatemala's future Com- 
munist party leaders at the law school of San Carlos University, the 
national university, in the early 1940's, and at the Boys Central 
Normal School. The fact that the University of San Carlos and the 
Boys Central Normal School provided from its students of the early 
1940's the majority of the present leaders of the far-leftist nationalist 
movement and the Communist and pro-Communist organizations 
suggests the fashionableness of the nationalist-Marxist mode of 
thought in the prewar and wartime era. 

World War II gave a greal, impetus to the revolutionary forces 
wliich were to open lli(> way Tor (lu* (-rysfallization of an organized 


Communist movement. The slogans of the Four Freedoms, the 
Atlantic Charter, and the United Nations disarmed the natural de- 
fenders of the existing Guatemalan authoritarian system and fired 
the ambition if not the understanding of wide segments of the middle 
strata of society. For many intellectuals, to judge by their subsequent 
writings and actions, the war was a vindication of faith in the 
superiority of the Socialist (i. e. Soviet) system over "Fascist dic- 
tatorship," by which they understood, with little discrimination, the 
Ubico authoritarian system at home and the complex police states 

For another important group, the younger army officers who were 
also mostly recruited from the lower middle class, the war provided 
another type of stimulus. The presence of United States Army air 
bases and the sending of Guatemalan officers to United States service 
schools helped to focus the general dissatisfaction against the Ubico 
regime by contrasting the superior material status of foreign officers 
and the advanced technological development of a modern nation with 
the miserable pay and primitive methods in vogue in Guatemala. 



1. Origins in the WU Revolution {19U-I^6) : The catalyst which 
accelerated the ferment in the Guatemalan intellectual group and 
eventually molded an organized Communist movement was the Guate- 
malan revolutions of June and October 1944, which overthrew Presi- 
dent Ubico and Gen. Federico Ponce Vaides, the head of the successor 
Provisional Government, and which ended the 70-year era dominated 
by "Liberal" dictatorships. 

The June uprising in 1944 against President Ubico consisted almost 
solely of demonstrations by the students of the University of San 
Carlos, young teachers, and professional people; it was, in short, a 
revolution of "intellectuals" and not of the masses and was only 
partially successful. General Ponce was installed as head of the 
Provisional Government and soon started a policy of repression. The 
revolution was not made secure until October, when a second student 
uprising was joined by young army officers and the Provisional 
Government was overthrown. A governing board (Junta) consisting 
of Maj. Francisco Xavier Arana, who led the key Guardia de Honor 
regiment in the revolution, Capt. Jacobo Arbenz of the Escuela 
PoUtecniea, who was credited with being the strategist of the insur- 
rectionists, and Jorge Toriello, a civilian, were installed as a 

Meanwhile, following the June uprising, the intellectual group had 
started the organizations which were to incubate the Communist 
movement. Prior to the revolution no labor unions, other than con- 

a078C58- M- 


trolled workingmen's national aid societies, had been permitted, but 
in July a schoolteachers' union, the Asociacion Nacional de Maestro8, 
was founded and evolved in January 1945 into the Sindicato de 
Trahajadores Educadonales de Guatemala (STEG). The railway 
workers' union, SAMF, successor to an earlier railwaymen's mutual 
benefit society of the same initials, came into being and in August the 
Confederacion de Trabaiadores de Guatemala (CTG) was founded 
as the country's national labor federation. This was the time that 
the Frente Popular Lihertador (FPL) , the "students' party," and the 
Partido Renovacion Nacional (RN), the "teachers' party," were 
founded with a leftist orientation in support of the presidential can- 
didacy of Dr. Arevalo, who had returned from his exile in Argentina. 

Within this leftist-nationalist movement there was at first no Com- 
munist organization. The old pre- 1932 Communist Party of Guate- 
mala had been smashed by President Ubico, who feared an uprising 
such as occurred in EI Salvador. Several of its leaders had fled to 
Moscow, others had been jailed in Guatemala, and at least one, Jacobo 
Sanchez, had died in the hands of Ubico's police. There was thus no 
native organization to provide continuity and it was necessary to 
reconstruct the party from the base. 

The seeds of the future Guatemalan Communist Party were initially 
planted within the CTG. In establishing and carrying forward this 
organization it was necessary to draw on advisers on labor organiza- 
tion, which Guatemala was unable to provide. Those who came for- 
ward were not from Western organizations but largely Central 
Americans who had had associations with communism. The princi- 
pal foreign group consisted of Salvadoran exiles, including Miguel 
Marmol Chicas, a Salvadoran Communist who is still associated 
with the local labor movement; Abel and Max Cuenca Martinez, 
brothers exiled from El Salvador in 1932 for Communist activities, 
the latter of whom is now a member of the Political Committee of 
professedly non-Communist Partido de la Re'volucion Giiatemalteca; 
and Virgilio Guerra Mcndez, now a member of the Communist 
Partido Guatemalteco del Trabajo (PGT) Political Committee. They 
were joined by Antonio Ovando Sanchez, a leader of the pre-Ubico 
Guatemalan Communist Party who had gone to Moscow in the early 
1930's and was later jailed by Ubico; and by Alfonso Solorzano Fer- 
nandez, the labor lawyer who had worked with Lombardo Toledano 
in Mexico. 

These persons, who had had labor union organizing experience in 
other countries, served as the advisers to the young CTG, in which 
they quickly established an indoctrination school called the Escuela 
Claridad with Abel Cuenca as director. Its ostensible purpose was to 
train labor leaders, but its Comiiumist orientation soon became obvi- 
ous. (Ovando Sanchez was (|noto(l in 1950 as boasting that ho had 


begun to form the Communist Party in the Escuela Claridad,) The 
school had the close support of the schoolteachers' union, STEG, but 
its Communist orientation alarmed the SAMF railway union and 
certain other unions, with the result that a factional fight split the 
CTG. The SAMF and other unions withdrew to form the Federacion 
Sindicdl de Guatemala (FSG) in January 1946, and during the same 
month the Arevalo administration formally shut down the Escuela 
Claridad with a decree citing it as being in contravention of article 32 
of the Guatemalan Constitution, which forbids "political organiza- 
tions of a foreign or international character." After the closing of 
the school. Communist indoctrination continued through Marxist 
"study groups" clandestinely organized within the labor movement 
and the political parties. 

Communist and Communist-oriented figures also exerted an influ- 
ence in the indoctrination of Guatemala's political organizations in 
their first years. Among the residents were Edelberto Torres, Sr., the 
Nicaraguan Communist; Armando Flores Amador, also a Nicaraguan 
Communist; Miguel Angel Vasquez, a Salvadoran Communist; Pedro 
Geoffrey Rivas, a Costa Rican Communist figure; and Roberto Al- 
varado Fuentes, a Guatemalan who had returned from Chile where 
he had been involved in Communist activities. 

In the turbulent and disoriented first period of the post- World War 
II "revolutionary" era, the Communist doctrines taught by the Escuela 
Claridad in the "study groups" and by the Communist-oriented fig- 
ures in the country exerted a considerable appeal to the young students 
and others who were looking for a unified and firm ideology. In 1944 
the average known age of the present Political Committee of the Com- 
munist PGT (except Virgilio Guerra, who was 38) was just over 23 
years, and their political philosophy was then probably not fully 
formulated. Jose Manuel Fortuny, the present Secretary General 
of the PGT, then 28, was the eldest and was employed as a part-time 
law student and radio newscaster. Bernardo Alvarado Monzon, 
the present Secretary for Organization, Alfredo Guerra Borges, now 
Secretary for Propaganda, and Carlos Rene Valle, currently on the 
Political Committee, were 19-year-old students at the time of the 
revolution. Victor Manuel Gutierrez, now the country's top labor 
leader, and Mario Silva Jonama, both on the present Political Com- 
mittee, were at the time of the revolution schoolteachers in their early 
twenties, and Carlos Manuel Pellecer, also a member of the PGT Po- 
litical Committee, was 24. Jose Alberto Cardoza, a printer, and 
Antonio Ardon, a tailor, both now Political Committee members, were 
apparently in their mid-twenties during the revolution. All of these 
young men had much the same background : they were of mixed Span- 
ish-Indian blood; their families were relatively poor, and they had 
attained an educational level higher than the average Guatemalan in 
these circumstances. 


2. Growth Inside of Political and Lahor Organisations {19^6-50) : 
It took 3 years after the October 1944 revolution for this group to 
crystallize into a permanent Communist organization operating clan- 
destinely within President Arevalo's leftist "revolutionary" movement 
and 7 years (until January 1952) for the Partido Comunista de 
Guatemala (PCG) to emerge as the sole and recognized Stalinist- 
Communist party of the country. At first one group, led by Fortuny, 
was active within the leftist administration parties, particularly the 
Partido Accion Revolucionaria (PAR) which was formed in 1945 by 
a fusion of the FPL and the RN.^ Within the PAR they achieved a 
considerable influence. Fortuny was twice acting Secretary General 
and others of his group obtained offices on the Executive Committee. 

Meantime, another group led by Gutierrez and consisting of persons 
associated with the Escuela Glaridad gradually came to dominate the 
labor movement. With the withdrawal of the SAMF from the CTG 
and the formation of the FSG in January 1946, the teachers' union 
STEG remained as the most militant union within the CTG and came 
to dominate it. Gutierrez rose rapidly from the STEG Executive 
Committee to the STEG Secretary Generalship and to the Secretary 
Generalship of the CTG. That organization retained its original 
affiliation with the WFTU and the CTAL in contrast to the CIO, the 
AF of L, and the British Trade Unions Council which withdrew from 
the WFTU on the grounds that it was Soviet-dominated. 

The Communist-oriented group also gradually infiltrated and won 
over the FSG although the FSG had originally been formed in pro- 
test to the ascendancy of Communist doctrines in the CTG. The 
instrument of the FSG leftist turn was Manuel Pinto Usaga, a Com- 
munist-line opportunist leader who rose from the SAMF railroad 
workers' union to be the FSG Secretary General, and Jose Alberto 
Cardoza. By February 1947 a Gomite Nacional de Unidad Sindical 
(CNUS) was founded to coordinate the actions of the CTG and FSG 
and lay the foundations for a new united organization. By 1950 the 
FSG affiliated with the WFTU and the CTAL and in October 1951 
its entry into the Communist orbit was complete. 

Fortuny's extreme leftist "political" group and Gutierrez's extreme 
leftist "labor" group worked closely together in the revolutionary 
movement, and some of the younger leaders, such as Jose Luis Ramos, 
were active in both. Their activities were more in the nature of two 
aspects of a single current than the activities of separate entities. 

In the midst of these developments, the political education of those 
who were to found the Communist party went forward. In addition 
to Solorzano, Alvarado Fuentes, and the other Guatemalan Com- 
munist-oriented personalities who had returned from exile, there was 

' Tbo FI'L and (ho RN later withdrew, resulting? in three parties, the PAR the 
F'l'L, and the KN. 


a large influx of visiting Communist leaders between 1945 and 1950 
to help advance the ideological and organizational skill of the young 
Guatemalan extremists. Among them were Cesar Godoy Urrutia, 
leader of the Chilean Communist Party who came first in 1945 ; Pablo 
Neruda, the Chilean Communist poet; Eduardo Hubner, a Chilean 
Communist figure; Virginia Bravo Letelier, a Chilean Communist 
teacher; Bias Roca of the Cuban Communist Party; and Vicente 
Lombardo Toledano of the CTAL in Mexico. 

During most of these years of the development and indoctrination 
of the young revolutionary leaders there was no established or recog- 
nized Communist organization in Guatemala, a factor which probably 
eased the inner struggle of those being converted. It was an era where 
there could be "Communists" without any demand for them also to 
be "Communist Party Members." 

3. The Foimding of the Gommunist Party in the Late Arevalo Ad- 
ministration {19Jf7-51) : Apart from the time which transpired until 
a Communist organization was ready to crystallize, the political 
climate of the Arevalo administration was not favorable for the open 
organization of a Communist party and the early steps toward the 
establishment of one were of a conspiratorial character. 

President Arevalo pursued a devious and often apparently whimsi- 
cal policy toward Communists which, in retrospect, may be summar- 
ized as encouraging participation of Communists as individuals in 
the administration political and labor groups and discouraging the 
formation of an open organized Stalinist party. In the organiza- 
tion of the first political parties and labor unions and in the evolve- 
ment and early implementation of the Social Security Law (1946) 
and Labor Code (1947), he not only tolerated but worked closely with 
Communist-oriented figures. During his administration virtually all 
of the future Communist party leaders were at one time or another 
on the public payroll, one of them, Mario Silva Jonama, rising to be 
Under Secretary of Education, and another, Alfredo Guerra Borges, 
to be editor of the official gazette (then the Diario de Centra America) . 
President Arevalo not only countenanced the visit of Latin American 
Communist figures to Guatemala, but personally aided Latin Ameri- 
can Communists in their travels in other countries. In his political 
speeches and writings, the President maintained that as a "spiritual 
socialist" he rejected a purely materialistic (i. e. Communist) con- 
cept on the grounds that the dignity of man was more important 
than his economic needs, but this did not prevent him from finding a 
common viewpoint and a workable arrangement with Communist 
figures on such meeting grounds as social reform and opposition to 
United States "imperialism." Moreover, his talk of playing one ad- 
ministration political camp against another in order to retain the 
decisive voice for himself aided the growth of the Communist move- 


ment, which benefited from the inability of most parties to forsake 
its support in the delicate balance. 

President Arevalo, nonetheless, from time to time took concrete 
steps to impede the growth of an open Communist organization. In 
February 1946 there was his closing down of the Escuela Glaridad. 
From 1946 to 1948 and again in 1949-50 he kept Carlos Manuel Pelle- 
cer, most liery of the young extremists, out of the country as Secretary 
of Legation in Paris despite Pellecer's repeated efforts to be trans- 
ferred home, and the assignment of Alfredo Guerra Borges and Abel 
Cuenca to diplomatic missions in this period suggests further use of 
this device to impede Communist organization. In May 1947 he sent 
Abel and Max Cuenca out of the country, and on October 4 of that 
year his police put the Salvadoran Communists Virgilio Guerra, 
Miguel Marmol, and other foreign Communists across the Mexican 
border, thus momentarily breaking up the group that had taught 
at the Escuela Glaridad and served as advisers to the CTG. (They 
made their way back quietly shortly thereafter.) 

It was in this atmosphere that the first successful attempt to form 
a Guatemalan Communist Party was made on September 28, 1947, 
\mder the name of the Vanguardia Democrdtica. It was, in essence, 
a conspiratorial group. Its probable leaders, of whom Fortuny is the 
only one definitely identified, were to the outside world high officers of 
the PAR and the labor unions. Fortuny was formally elected Sec- 
retary General of the group in 1948. There was no announcement of 
its formation, and its membership, except for Fortuny, has never been 
revealed. In a press interview almost 4 years later, on July 1, 1951, 
Fortuny set the September 28, 1947, date as the day of the founding of 
the organized Communist party, but until 1950, the final year of 
Arevalo's administration, the existence of a Communist party was a 
successfully guarded secret.^ 

On December 21, 1947, young leftist followers of the administra- 
tion's "revolutionary" movement, among them a group later to be 
identified as Communist, founded the Alianza de la Juventud Demo- 
crdtica de Guatemala (AJDG), a youth organization now affiliated 
with the International Communist World Federation of Democratic 
Youth (WFDY). One of its first leaders was Jose H. Zamora, a 
Salvadoran, who was ousted from the Secretary Generalship in 1950 
and proceeded publicly to accuse Mario Silva Jonama, Antonio 
Sierra Gonzalez, Octavio Reyes, and Huberto Alvarado of forming a 
Commimist group within the organization. The charge suggests that 

' Although Fortuny's statement dates an organized party from 1947, the present 
Communist Party, the PGT, dates its anniversaries from the First Party Congress 
on September 28, 1949. It publicized September 28, 1063, as the "Fourth 
Anniversary of the Party." 


from the beginning the AJDG was an offshoot of the still clandestine 
Communist Party. 

In the spring of 1949, Fortuny and Gutierrez, both ostensibly still 
members of the PAR, traveled to Europe where they attended, in 
April, the first World Congress of the Partisans of Peace in Paris. 
Gutierrez, after a brief trip back to Guatemala, also attended the 
Milan Congress of the WFTU, where he was elected a member of the 
Executive Committee and mixed further with the leaders of inter- 
national communism. Fortuny, who was elected a member of the 
Permanent Committee of the World Peace Congress at Paris, went 
on to tour the "People's Democracies" of Eastern Europe. 

After their return, there was a marked increase in the tempo of 
the effort to create an open Communist Party. During the summer 
there had been the assassination of Colonel Arana, the 1944 triumvir 
who had become Chief of the Armed Forces, by persons sympathetic 
to the presidential ambitions of Colonel Arbenz, and an abortive up- 
rising by Arana's supporters in the army which Arbenz put down 
with the help of labor unions. The time was pro])itious for the ex- 
treme left. In September 1949 Gutierrez resigned from the PAR. 
During the same month, on September 28, the clandestine Communist 
Party, the Vanguardia Democrdtica^ held its First Party Congress and 
purged its ranks. It was presumably at this congre^ss that the name 
Partido Gomunista de Guatemala (PCG) was adopted, and that 
Fortuny was reelected Secretary General. The present Guatemalan 
Communist Party numbers its anniversaries from this event. 

On May 25, 1950, when the campaign for a succassor to President 
Arevalo was already under way, Fortuny announced his resignation 
from the PAR of which he was then a member of the Executive Com- 
mittee. Along with his resignation there were those of Mario Silva 
Jonama, PAR Secretary for Propaganda ; Bernado Alvarado Monzon, 
Secretary for Youth Affairs; Antonio Ardon, Secretary for Social 
Matters ; Humberto Ortiz, Secretary for Rural Affairs ; Pedro Fern- 
andez and Alfredo Guerra Borges, ex-members of the Political Com- 
mittee ; and Jose Luis Ramos, Regelio Lopez, and Carlos Rene Valle. 
A month later, on June 21, 1950, this group brought out a newspaper 
entitled Octubre whose initial subheading was "For a Great Commu- 
nist Party, Vanguard of the Workers, the Peasants and the People." 
The group, however, still did not openly profess themselves as the 
Comimunist Party and was known as the "■Qctuhre Communists." 

Fortuny's ^'Octubre Communist" group, which was then the visible 
manifestation of the still secret PCG, was distinct from but not 
opposed to another Communist political organization, the Partido 
Revolucionario Ohrero de Guatemala (PROG), which was also 
founded in June 1950 by Gutierrez as a Communist-type party for 


the further indoctrination of political and labor leaders. It was For- 
tuny's idea to proceed rapidly with the establishment of an open Com- 
munist party, while Gutierrez's statements indicate that he thought 
that a further period of ideological training in a Communist-front 
party was necessary. 

The outgoing Arevalo administration did not impede these de- 
velopments but it moved to dissociate the ^'Octubre Communists" 
from the public administration. Mario Silva Jonama was removed 
as Director of the national radio station TGW, where he had gone 
after leaving the Ministry of Education, and Alfredo Guerra Borges 
was dismissed as editor of the official gazette. In the summer of 1950 
the Supreme Court, which was responsive to administration policy, 
decided that Fortuny's term on the National Electoral Council had 
expired, overruling his contention that he should not be limited to 
filling out the teiTn of his predecessor but should have a full term. 

On September 6 Octubre announced the founding of an evening 
Marxist indoctrination school named "Jacobo Sanchez," after the 
Communist "assassinated" by Ubico. It was under the direction of 
Alfredo Guerra Borges, and Gutierrez, though not the Octubre group, 
was an instructor. The school, however, was promptly shut down 
by Col. Elfego Monzon, Arevalo's Minister of the Interior. 

Despite these frictions with the authorities, the '•'■Octubre Commu- 
nists" as well as the PROG worked loyally with the revoluntionary 
parties in the presidential campaign of Colonel Arbenz, President 
Arevola's chosen successor. Leaders of these two organizations and 
of the trade unions under their influence formed the Gomite Politico 
Nacional de los Trabajadores (CPNT), which propagandized for 
Arbenz and the administration's congressional candidates, among the 
successful ones of whom were Gutierrez and Jose Alberto Cardoza 
of the PROG, Humberto Ortiz of the Octubre Communists, and Cesar 
Montenegro Paniagua of the FSG and SAMF who was later openly 
to join the Communist ranks. 

4. The Communist Party in the Arbenz Administration {1951-53) : 
With the inauguration of President Arbenz on March 15, 1951, 
Fortuny's Communist Party started on the final phase of its emer- 
gence as an open and legal Communist Party. On April 4 Fortuny 
signed a press statement as "Secretary General of the Partido Comu- 
nista de Guatemala''''] this was the first avowal that an organized 
Communist Party existed in Guatemala. In May there were further 
open contacts with international Communist figures when Lombardo 
Toledano, Secretary General of the CTAL, and Louis Saillant, 
Secretary General of WFTU, attended a Guatemalan City Conference 
of Latin American Land and Air Transport Workeivs' Unions and 
counseled local labor leaders on forming a single Gnateinalan labor 
federation. On June 21, the fii'sl anniversary of (he publication of 


Octubre, the party held a public rally in a theater furnished by the 
Government under a law permitting the use of theaters for "cultural" 
affairs, and with high officials of the Government in attendance. It 
was announced that the party would seek to be entered on the Civil 
Registry in order to attain status as a recognized party under the 
electoral laws. 

There remained one organizational problem to be solved : the co- 
existence of Fortuny's PCG and Gutierrez's PROG, both of which 
were Communist in ideology but only the first of which professed 
itself Communist. In July, in a press interview, Gutierrez stated 
flatly that he was a Communist. In October his CTG and the FSG 
joined in the establishment of the Confederacion General de Traba- 
jadores de Guatemala (CGTG), and he was elected its Secretary Gen- 
eral at the head of an Executive Committee in which the key positions 
were held by Communists. In November he attended the WFTU 
Congress in Berlin, going on to Moscow. Upon his return in Janu- 
ary 1952, he announced the dissolution of the PROG and advised its 
members to join Fortuny's PCG. 

On January 25, 1952, the Gominfonn newspaper, "For a Lasting 
Peace, For a People's Democracy" published in Bucharest, Rumania, 
carried an article summarizing the findings of the Central Committee 
of the PCG on the shortcomings of Octubre. The publication of this 
article, in effect, confirmed the acceptance of Fortuny's PCG by the 
international Communist movement as the authorized Communist 
Party in Guatemala. 

During 1952 the representatives of the PCG began to be reported 
in the press as sitting in on President Arbenz's political conferences 
with the representatives of the other leftist administration parties. 
Early in the year there was a further upsurge in contacts with the 
international Communist movement. In March Bias Roca, Juan 
Marinello, and Salvador Aguirre, leaders of the Cuban Communist 
Party, visited Guatemala. In late May, Mario Silva Jonama, mem- 
ber of the PCG Political Committee, left for Moscow and the pre- 
liminary meeting of the Asiatic and Pacific Peace Conference in 
Peking, returning in early October. In September Jose Alberto Car- 
doza, who had followed Gutierrez into the PCG, attended the main 
Asiatic and Pacific Peace Conference in Peking, coming and goincr 
through Moscow. '^ 

Meanwhile, the party had played a leading part in the enactment of 
the Agrarian Reform Law of July 17, 1952, wh'ch was steered through 
Congress by the Special Committee on Agrarian Reform, whose chair- 
man was Gutierrez. The party leadership saw the agrarian reform 
as the vehicle to control the rural areas, and at this time a decision 
was taken to abandon restrictions on membership and to receive as 
many applicants as possible to create a "mass party.?' 


In October the PCG announced that it would hold its Second Party 
Congress in December, and when this took place on December 11-14, 
a niunber of basic organizational decisions were taken: to change the 
party name to the Partido Guutemalteco del Trahajo (the Guatemalan 
Labor Party— PGT) in order to sidestep the resistance to the word 
Communist and probably to ease the legalizatiou of the party ; to ex- 
pand the party membership; to register the party m the Civil Regis- 
try and to transform the weekly Octubre into a daily paper. The 
Congress also approved statutes for the PGT modeled on the standard 
organization of Stalinist Communist parties (see section II, A), and 
reelected Fortuny as Secretary General at the head of a Pohtical 
Committee of 11 members and a Central Committee of 21 members. 

On December 19 the PGT was registered as a political party m the 
Civil Registry despite the protest of anti-Communist groups that 
both the Constitution and the Electoral Law specifically forbid politi- 
cal organizations of a foreign or international character." It pre- 
sented a list of 532 members. 32 over the minimum required, to support 
its registration petition. The PGT then participated in the January 
1953 congressional elections as a member of the administrations 
"Democratic Electoral Front." One of the PGT candidates, Pellecer, 
won in the Department of Escuintla and the other, Fortuny, lost m 
the Department of Guatemala, the opposition stronghold. 

On February 17, 1953, the PGT reopened the "Jacobo Sanchez 
school as a party cadre school. By August 15 the party had collected 
some $10,000 from its basic organizations (cells) and launched a 
daily morning tabloid, Tribuna. Popular, ($10,000 is an inadequate 
sum to finance a daily newspaper in Guatemala, and many observers 
believe it is Government-subsidized.) In the PGT drive to increase 
party membership, the Party's first National Conference on Organiza- 
tion on August 8-9 claimed a 100 percent rise in the number of mem- 
bers since the December 1952 Party Congress. _ 

The PGT had by then become an open and major organization m 
Guatemalan political life. During the remainder of 1953 and early 
1954, the party grew in numbers and influence. In November it felt 
itself strong enough to present candidates independently of the other 
administration parties in six selected municipalities and elected four 
mayors, including that of the important Pacific slope center ol 
E'^cuintla. Party membership grew, and although totals were not 
announced, the party press identified new cells in the countryside 

Meanwhile, pursuing the "popular front" tactic, the PGT had taken 
a lead in transforming the "Democratic Electoral Front" of the 1953 
congressional elections into a permanent "National Democratic 
Front," whose council met with President Arbenz on policy questions 
and increasingly took over the Cabinet's policy-making f auctions. In 


a speech on April 4, 1954, for instance, Carlos Manuel Pellecer re- 
vealed that Guatemalan tactics for the Caracas Conference had been 
decided upon at a meeting between Foreign Minister Guillermo Tori- 
ello, the President, and the representatives of the Front. The Front 
came under effective Communist domination by the addition of the 
Communist-controlled CGTG and Communist-influenced CNCG to 
the political parties which originally composed it. At one meeting in 
1954, four of the representatives were avowed PGT members, four 
were established as Communist sympathizers by trips to Moscow, par- 
ticipation in the "Peace" movement, etc., and two were political col- 
laborators with the Communists. 

Secfi'on il 



1. The Central Party Organization: The Partido Guatemalteco del 
Trahajo is organized along the centralized authoritarian lines on the 
model of the Soviet Communist Party under Stalin, and the party 
discipline deriving from this organizational form has been a unique 
asset in the Guatemalan political environment where other entities 
tend to be lax and haphazard. The party is now organized under 
statutes drawn up by the Political Committee, adopted with no known 
cliange at the Party Congress in December 1952, and entered on the 
Civil Registry the same month.^ They do not incorporate the changes 
in terminology made by the Soviet Communist Party at its Nineteenth 
Party Congress in October 1952 (e. g. the change of the name of the 
Political Bureau to the Presidium), but are substantively identical 
with the organization of Stalinist Communist Parties prior to the 
Nineteenth Congress. 

The party is in effect ruled by its Political Committee, currently 
composed of 11 members, which in turn is dominated by the Secre- 
tariat, currently composed of 6 members. The Political Committee, 
which is elected by the Central Committee, "directs the Party's activi- 
ties when the Central Committee is not in session." The Secretariat, 
which is elected by the Central Committee from among members of 
the Political Committee, "is responsible for the daily work of the 
Party leadership, for organizing tlie execution of the resolutions of the 
Central Committee and Political Committee, for the assignment and 

'The Oulolier dnift statulos an> the only ones available for study and the 
Kuhsetiuent material i.s l)ased on tlieiu. 


training of leaders." The Secretary General of the Central Com- 
mittee by statute heads the Secretariat and presides over the Political 

The Political Committee and the Secretariat form the heart of the 
party, for the more unwieldy Central Committee, which is supposed 
to meet in plenary session every 3 months, has never been recorded 
as doing anything but ratifying the work and reports of the party 
leaders. The Central Committee, currently composed of 21 members, 
is elected by the Party Congress, which is "the Party's highest au- 
thority" but is "normally called by the Central Committee every 3 
years" and thus has little direct influence on daily party activity. 

The Central Committee in addition to its Political Committee has 
standing Commissions on Organization, Propaganda, Education, La- 
bor Unions, Women's, Peasants', Finance, and Youth Affairs. As will 
be seen, those concerned with activities outside of the party serve to 
organize the party's influence in "mass organizations." 

The party Propaganda Commission publishes a daily, Tuesday 
through Sunday, tabloid-size newspaper, Trihuna Popular, and has 
announced a bimonthly magazine, Octuhre. Since February 1953 
the party has been conducting the " Jacobo Sanchez" evening school to 
train party cadres. The Organization Commission publishes a 
monthly Boletin de Organisacion. 

2. Regional and Local Organizations: The subordinate party or- 
ganizations in essence are abbreviated reproductions of the centralism 
of the national party headquarters. The statutes provide for depart- 
mental and municipal organizations, and regional, sectional and 
district organizations as the next or "intermediate" echelon of the 
party structure. An Assembly, which meets once a year or oftener, is 
again the "highest authority" of these organizations, and depart- 
mental, municipal, regional, etc., committees are elected. However, 
real power is vested in a Secretariat, which is elected by these com- 
mittees from among their members and which "shall be the executive 
bodies of the respective organizations." The supremacy of the party's 
national leadership is specifically provided for by obhgating the 
"intermediate" organizations to "make certain that the resolutions of 
higher Party organs are carried out," 

The foundation of the party structure is the "Basic Committee," 
popularly referred to as the "cell," to which every member must 
belong. It elects its own secretaries and has the functions of carrying 
out the party's propaganda, to report to higher headquarters on the 
"sentiments and needs of the worker," to carry out organizational and 
recruiting works, and to enforce discipline. 

Some 30 party basic organizaiions were identified by name in 
Communist publications in 1953-54. These cells were named "Oc- 
tubre,"' "Juan Pablo Wainwright," "Pedro Molina," "Mao Tze Tung," 


(in the Department of Suchitepequez), "Dmitri Shostakovich," "Es- 
trella Eoja," "Bandera Roja" (Guatemala), "Dolores Ibarruri," 
"Maximiliano Gorki," "Georgi Dimitroff," "Jose Marti," "Francisco 
Morazon," "Mariano Galvez," "Tecun Uman," "Decreto 900," "Jose 
Manuel Fortuny," "Espartaco" ( Jutiapa) , "9 de Mayo," "5 de Mayo" 
(Retalhuleu), "1 de Mayo" (Alta Verapaz), "Enrique Munoz Meany" 
(Chimaltenango), "Julius Fucik," "Jose Diaz," "Jesus Menendez," 
"Popul Vuh," "Kaibil Balan," "Luis Sanchez Batten," (Solola), 
"Martires Rosenberg," "Francisco Barrundin," "Justo Kufino Bar- 
rios," and "Pavel Korchaguin." 

It has positively been stated at various times in the party press that 
the party has cells in the Departments of Guatemala, Alta Verapaz, 
Baja Verapaz, Jutiapa, Santa Rosa, Suchitepequez, Retalhuleu, 
Solola, Chimaltenango, Quezaltenango, Escuintla, Peten, Chiquimula, 
Zacapa and Izabal. These are 15 of Guatemala's 22 Departments. 
There are probably also organizations in other Departments. 

3. '■'•DemocratiG Oentralisvi,'''' the Party's Discipline : The statutes of 
the PGT specifically provide that the party structure is based on 
"democratic centralism," which they define in a key statement as 
"subordination of the minority to the majority ; of the members to 
the decisions of the Base Committee ; of lower organs to higher organs ; 
and all organs and organizations to the Central Committee." Since, 
as outlined above, the Central Committee is effectively dominated by 
its Political Committee and eventually by the Secretariat and Secre- 
tary General, the term "democratic centralism" covers up in Guate- 
mala as elsewhere an effective authoritarian rule of the party by its 
leading elements. 

A rigid disciplinary system is provided in the statutes for individual 
members. They must pay dues regularly (a duty of symbolic as well 
as financial importance) ; respect and unconditionally carry out party 
decisions after they are taken ; and defend the party unity and combat 
any divisionist activity. If party members hold electoral offices they 
must hand over their entire salary to the party and "The Party, taking 
into consideration their previous salaries, will pay for their new neces- 
sities and the representation expenses connected with their positions 
which will allow them to live decently within the Party's means." 
Party cards are renewed annually, at which time dues must be paid 
up to date ; the last exchange took place in December 1953-January 


1. The Apparent Supremacy of Fortuny: The PGT leadership in 
1954, composed totally of ladinos, represents a welding together of 
Fortuny's "political group" and Gutierrez's "labor-PROG" group, 
and despite the doubts of some that Fortuny is the leading Communist, 


an analysis of the available evidence indicates that he is m a position 
effectively to exercise control of the party machinery. 

Fortuny himself, at the December 1952 Congress, held onto the key 
position of Secretary General and, as snch, is the presiding officer ot 
the Central Committee, of the Political Committee, and of the Secre- 
tariat. Moreover, the other four Secretaries of the Central Commit- 
tee-Alvarado Monz6n, Guerra Borges, Silva Jonama, and Kamos- 
are ex-members of Fortuny's Octuhre group. They in turn control 
key commissions of the Central Committee. Alvarado Monzon is 
head of the Organization Commission, which supervises the party 
macliinery ; Guerra Borges is temporarily in charge of the Propaganda 
Commission and is editor of the party newspaper; Ramos is chief ot 
the Peasants' Commission, which plays an important role m agrarian 
reform policy, and Silva Jonama presides over the Education Com- 
mission, which has charge of party indoctrination. 

Bv contrast Gutierrez and the group which is now active m the 
CGTG has a secondary place in the formal party hierarchy. None ot 
them are Secretaries. Gutierrez, Cardoza, and Virgiho Giierra, 
leaders of the old labor group are members of the Political Com- 
mittee, and the first is head of the Labor Union Commission. Pellecer, 
who was associated with the Octvhre group but whose principal ac- 
tivity is in the CGTG, is also a member of the Political Committee. 
While the labor group thus has important positions m the PGi 
leadership, it does not have the controlling positions that the Fortuny 

group has. „ ^ x i i j 

In the background there is reinforcing evidence of Fortuny s lead- 
ing role in the party. By a choice which became evident after 
Gutierrez's return from Moscow in January 1952, it was Fortuny s 
Octubre group rather than Gutierrez's PROG group which emerged 
as the chosen instrument of international communism m Guatemala. 
While this appeared more the settling of a friendly rivalry than a 
victorv in a bitter factional battle, it is evident that Gutierrez and his 
ffroup"'assumed for the moment a secondary role in mtraparty affairs, 
although this is often obscured by the fact that because of their role 
in labor affairs and in Congress Gutierrez and those associated with 
him receive more newspaper space than their superior officers m the 
formal party structure. 

The case made to deny Fortuny's preeminence is centered on his 
alle'^ed lack of intellectual attainments, his reported laziness, and his 
repM-ted lack of character. These arguments, however, are short of 
conclusive, for they neglect the cardinal fact that Fortuny has had 
more experience and successes in Guatemalan political life than any 
other Communist leader: He was a 1944 founder of the FPL, twice 
Secretary General of the PAR ; leader of the Vanguardia Democrdtica 
. from its founding in 1947, and of the Partido Comwnista de Guat&wMa 



from 1949 onward; and the winner in the settlement as to whether 
his PCG or Gutierrez's PROG should be the chosen international 
Communist movement instrument in Guatemala. In the history of 
the Guatemalan Communist Party, as in the history of all Communist 
Parties since Stalin undermined Lenin's policies and overcame 
Trotsky, it appears risky to presuppose that the most intelligent and 
the most doctrinaire Communist must be the party leader. 

2. Contacts with Moscoio: Although none of the members of the 
PGT Political Committee are known to have visited Moscow before 
the 1944 revolution, there has since been a continual flow of PGT 
leaders to the Soviet capital. At least 6 of the 11 have been there 
since the war. Pellecer was Secretary of Legation there in 1945 
and went to Eastern Europe in 1949. Fortuny toured the "Peoples 
Democracies" in 1949 after attending the Paris Partisans of Peace 
Congress and quite possibly took in the U. S. S. R. on his tour. He was 
on a trip to Moscow from November 5, 1953, to January 12, 1954. 
Gutierrez went to Moscow in December 1951 and again in November 
1953; Silva Jonama and Jose Alberto Cardoza went through the 
U. S. S. R. on their way back and forth to the June and September 
Asiatic and Pacific Peace Conferences in 1952. Jose Luis Ramos was 
there in 1953. Virgilio Guerra was scheduled to leave for Moscow in 
May 1954. In addition, Oscar Edmundo Palma, a member of the 
Central Committee, went to the Soviet Union after the April 1953 
meeting of the World Peace Congress in Budapest, and a number of 
Guatemalan youth and "peace" delegations visited the U. S. S. R., 
China, and the "Peoples Democracies" in 1952 and 1953. 

Apart from tliese trips the PGT leadership is in contact with the 
main current of international communism through participation in 
a variety of international conferences and congresses sponsored by the 
WFTU, the World Peace Council, the World Federation of Demo- 
cratic Youth, the International Students Union, etc. Fortuny, 
Gutierrez, Silva Jonama, and Cardoza, as mentioned above, attended 
"Peace" meetings, while Gutierrez attended the WFTU Congresses 
in Milan (1949), Berlin (1951), and is now a delegate to the Vienna 
(WFTU) Congress. In addition to this attendance, there is a con- 
stant exchange of communications between the Vienna lieadquarters 
of the WFTU and Gutierrez as CGTG Secretary General, some of 
vrhich are published in the press as WFTU messages of "solidarity" 
with various Guatemalan strikes. Similar communications pass be- 
tween Soviet international organizations, such as the World Fed- 
eration of Democratic Youth, and their Guatemalan affiliates. 

There are also, as described above, the frequent visits of Latin 
American Communist leaders, such as Dionisio Encina, Secretary 
General of the Mexican Communist Party, who attended the Decem- 
ber 1952 PGT Party Congress. 



Supplementing these personal contacts, the PGT leadership receives 
a flow of literature from Moscow as well as the headquarters of vari- 
ous Soviet-controlled international organizations. To judge by the 
contents of the former party weekly Octubre and the present daily 
Trihuna Popular, these include the Spanish-language edition of the 
Cominform Journal "For a Lasting Peace, For a People's Democracy" 
published in Bucharest, and a limited file of the Soviet TASS news 

From these various sources, the PGT leadership is in constant con- 
tact with the twistings and turnings of Soviet tactics and is able to 
adjust its own policies accordingly. Though there are doubtless addi- 
tional surreptitious channels of communications and Soviet control, 
as has proved the case in Communist parties elsewhere, these pub- 
licly recorded contacts appear suflBcient to give the PGT adequate 


1. Estimates Vary from 3,000-4,000: The PGT, a Communist party 
which here as elsewhere gives every evidence of valuing key positions 
over weight of members, has never publicly revealed the number of its 
members and any estimate above 3,000 must at this stage be regarded 
as guesswork. 

The public evidence on party membership ^ starts with the fact that 
the PGT in December 1952, submitted the names, addresses, and 
identification card numbers of 532 members to the Civil Eegistrar to 
meet a requirement of the Electoral Law that this information be 
given on 500 or more members before a political party can be reg- 
istered. Later, at a party organizational conference in August 1953, 
the claim was publicly made that the party's membership had in- 
creased "over 100 percent" since the previous December, a statement 
which, if taken at face value, would have made the party membership 
at least 1,070 in mid-1953. 

However, there is circumstantial evidence that the party member- 
ship was greater than 532 when the names were handed in to the 
Civil Eegistrar in December 1952. The names of several national 
Communist figures, such as Victor Manuel Gutierrez of the PGT 
Political Committee, were not included, possibly because it was not 
convenient to obtain the needed data from them, and in the months 
following the publication of this roster a score of other party members 
have been identified in the press. More importantly, logic dictates 

^ In assessing Communist strength In Guatemala it is necessary to discrimi- 
nate between the category "PGT members" and the wider category of "Com- 
munists." As indicated above, all Comiminists in Guatemala are not necessarily 
members of the PGT and this sul)section is addressed only to PGT members. 


that the Communist leadership when required to produce only 500 
names would not have needlessly exposed many more members to pos- 
sible future action against them. Moreover, any secret members cam- 
ouflaging under the labels of other parties or orgaiiizations would 
scarcely be exposed. 

Thus, if party membersliip was greater than 532 in December 1952 
and the claim that it has since doubled is correct, the PGT would have 
counted more than 1,100 members at the August 1953 Organization 
Conference. A party member was reported in the summer of 1953 
to have asserted that party membership stood at 3,000, but it seems 
unlikely that even within the party more than a few persons have 
access to the party rolls. Nonetheless, it would appear a fair guess 
that the party numbered at least 2,000 in mid-1953 and every indica- 
tion, such as the November 1953 municipal elections, has been that the 
party has continued to multiply rapidly. A reasonable estimate of 
its strength in May 1954 would appear to be 3,000-4,000. 

There is little doubt that the PGT is now in a stage of expanding 
membership and is tactically emphasizing a "mass" party rather than 
a select party. At the last party congress in December 1952, the 
need to recruit members was stressed and the party name was changed 
from the Oomunista de Guatem,ala (PCG) to the PGT (Guate- 
malan Labor Party) in part because the word "Communist" in the 
party title was acknowledged to be a hindrance to its acceptance by 
the masses. This confirmed the decision taken at the time of the en- 
actment of the Agrarian Eeform Law that June to expand the party 
and seemed a clear indication that the party was willing to accept less 
than fully indoctrinated militants as members at this stage. The 
apparently successful recruiting drive doubling the party's size in 
7 months tends to support this impression. The party has benefited 
in recruiting not only from its change of name but by its registration 
as a legal party in December 1952 and by the many evidences that 
it enjoys the favor of the Arbenz administration. 

As to the composition of the party membership, the National Con- 
ference on Organization in August 1953 stated that 50 percent were 
urban and rural workers, 29 percent farmers and tenants, and 21 
percent middle class. 


1. The Non-Party C omviimists : In addition to the leadership and 
membership of the PGT, the party enjoys significant support from 
persons who are ideologically Communists but not openly PGT mem- 
bers, and from what is possibly an undci-ground Communist group. 
This subject is naturally shrouded in secrecy and the publicly avail- 
able iirforniiition is limited, but any assessment of the overt party or- 
ganizal ion must recognize that it is only at llie nioinent the instrument 

,1 — 


of international communism and that, in any shifting developments 
of the future, a sizable group of persons dedicated to Moscow's prin- 
ciples are available to carry forward the cause. 

Among those who are most probably nonparty Communists m 
important positions are Alfonso Solorzano and Abel Cueuca. The 
former was a member of the recognized Communist Party in Mexico 
tind tlie latter was a Communist in El Salvador as far back as 1932, but 
there is no evidence that they have joined Fortuny's PGT. Solorzano, 
according to a wide variety of political observers, was expelled from 
the Mexican Communist Party, which he had joined during his pre- 
1944 exile and association with Lombardo Toledano, but he considers 
himself ideologically a better Communist than the ruling members of 
the PGT, who in many cases were his pupils. Cuenca, likewise, is 
generally reported to be out of sympathy with Fortuny's group. An- 
other of the same character is Koberto Alvarado Fuentes, who is some- 
times said, but with less consistency, to have been a Communist Party 
member in Chile and is now closely associated with Solorzano. 

The differences between these personalities and the leadership of 
Fortuny's PGT appear to be of an organizational and tactical order, 
for none of them are ever recorded to have entered into conflict with 
the thesis that Soviet-type communism is inevitable and desirable 
and should be promoted in Guatemala. In June 1952 Solorzano, 
Cuenca, and Alvarado Fuentes, then Secretary General of the Partido 
Accion Revolucionaria (PAR), were principals in the establishment 
of the Partido de la Revoludon Guatemalteca (PRG) as the "single 
revolutionary party" and thus, in essence, showed themselves as favor- 
ing the continued use of the administration parties as the principal 
vehicle for furthering Communist objectives. Fortuny by that time 
\\as committed to the use of an organized Communist Party as the 
principal vehicle, and his party, then the PCG, had the previous 
January received the endorsement of the Cominforni Journal. On 
July 3, 1952, he launched an attack in Octubre on the PRG and "work- 
ers' leaders" (unnamed but undoubtedly Solorzano, Cuenca, and 
Alvarado Fuentes) who had participated in founding the PRG and 
who he charged were "deviationists." Shortly thereafter, in a labor 
dispute in Solorzano's Institute of Guatemalan Social Security 
(IGSS), Carlos Manuel Pellecer, the PGT Communist who was ad- 
vising the workers, in a radio address labeled Solorzano "another Ana 
Pauker," referring to the Rumanian Communist leader who had 
shortly before been sensationally purged. Pellecer renewed his at- 
tack on Solorzano in April 1954. 

The fact that the Solorzano-Cuenca-Alvarado Fuentes group and 
others are "deviationists" from the tactical viewpoint of Fortuny's 
PGT does not necessarily imply that they are out of step with the long- 
range purposes of the Moscow Communist movement. Overlooking 


the possibility that they are subject to separate instructions, the facts 
are that before and since the 1952 flareup over the PRG both groups 
have pulled together in the traces to achieve Communist objectives in 
the fields of local labor and political organizations, the publicizing 
of the "Peace" campaign and other Soviet propaganda objectives, 
and the. orientation of the administration's social security, agrarian 
reform, and other programs along Communist lines. 

2. The Intellectual Pro-Communists: Another group reinforcing 
the PGT is composed of young intellectuals who are active in politics 
and follow the Communist line undeviatingly although they are pub- 
licly, and quite possibly privately, not members of Fortuny's PGT. 
In many cases they were members of the university and schoolteachers, 
groups from which the Communist leadership is drawn ; and in some 
cases they say, with conviction if possible self-deception, that they are 
"not Communists" although thej-^ meet every qualification except PGT 
membership. They are, in short, a group which was subjected to the 
same influences as the intellectuals who formed the PGT, but they 
may have stopped short of party membership. 

Among the typical members of this group is Julio Estrada de 
la Hoz, president of Congress in 1952-53, once a leading member of 
Alvarado Fuentes' faction in the PAR. As a leader of the PAR and 
one-time editor of the Diario de la Manana, he has consistently fol- 
lowed the Communist line, although a lifelong friend and political 
associate has stated he is "not a Communist." Another of the former 
university group is Jaime Diaz Rozzotto, Secretary General of Presi- 
dent Arbenz' Executive Office and Secretary General of Renovation 
Nacional^ a leftist administration party. He professes not to be a 
Communist, although he was the first Secretary General of the Guate- 
malan "Peace" movement in 1949 and has since engaged in every major 
Communist-sponsored cause to the extent of welcoming the 1953 truce 
in Korea as another step toward the establishment of a "Socialist 

Among schoolteachers, the intellectual Communist group counts 
Oscar Jimenez de Leon, a leader of the pro-Communist wing of the 
RX; Hector Fion Garma, an RN deputy who was active with 
Gutierrez in the STEG teachers' union; and Alfonso Orantes, ex- 
president of the National Electoral Board, a member of the PRG 
Political Committee, and president of the Communist-front Oasade 

Without the discipline inherent in PGT membership, the political 
orientation of this type of intellectual and his ardor for the Com- 
munist cause is constantly shifting. Some, such as Diaz Rozzotto, 
appear more openly identified with communism as time evolves. On 
the other hand, in the past 2 years two have clashed with the PGT 
leadership: Amor Americo Velasco de Leon was expelled from his 


key position as Secretary of Organization of the Confederacion 
National Gampesina de Guatemala (CNCG) in September 1952 for 
attemi^ting to counter PGT efforts to dominate that agricultural 
fedcviition, and Alvaro Hu<ro Salgucro was removed from the leader- 
sliip of the PAR and hiter publicly accused the PGT of undermining 
him. Both had x^i'eviously acted in harmony with Communist 

3. A PossiUe Crypto-Communist Group: The effective ranks of the 
PGT are possibly further reinforced by crypto-Communists, some 
of whom are masquerading in ostensibly non-Communist organiza- 
tions and some of whom may have been placed in the shadows where 
they would not be exposed directly in the always-present possibility 
of an anti-Connnunist coup in this country. The names of only ap- 
proximately 600 of the PGT's estimated 3,000-4,000 membership have 
been made public. 

There is no public evidence of the existence of such a crypto-Com- 
munist group, but circimistances give grounds for suspicion. First, 
the PGT itself was by Fortuny's statement a secret group from 1947 
to 1D51 when it acted within the PAR and other political and labor 
organizations, and nothing in its subsequent action indicates aban- 
donment of this tactic. Second, it is logical to suppose that a person 
holding a good position in the administration parties or the Govern- 
ment would be advised to keep his membership in the PGT secret if 
publicly acknowledged membership Avould be a handicap to the use 
of his position for the PGT's purposes. Third, a number of per- 
sons who were active in the Escuela Clandad and early Communist 
activities have vanished from the limelight. While a proportion may 
be accounted for by the announced purge of 1949 and other purges, 
some may well be kept in the background in intraparty activities to 
provide a nucleus of underground leadership in the event the party's 
position in Guatemala changes. 

The nonparty Communist of the Solorzano type, the Communist- 
oriented intellectual of the Estrada de la Hoz variety, and the possible 
member of a crypto-Communist group thus must be taken into account 
in evaluating the manpower available to the Communists, for doubt- 
less any one of them is more valuable to the PGT in achieving its ob- 
jectives than the larger numbers of farm workers blanketed into the 
party in the current membership expansion drive. 


1. Suh ordination to Soviet Aims: The primary but seldom publicly 
professed i\\m of the PGT is to act in the role of the vanguard in 
Guiiteiuala of the "inevitable"' trium})li of world communism led by 
the Soviet Union. While neither the party statutes nor the public 
fitatenients of PGT IcmiUm-s acknowledge a direct organizational sub- 


ordination to the Soviet party-state, numerous party actions and 
statements testify to the ideological subordination of the PGT to the 
Soviet Union. For instance, in a message of October 2, 1952, to the 
Soviet Nineteenth Party Congress, the Guatemalan Communist Party 
stated, "Our Party salutes the indestructible unity of the Communist 
Party of the Soviet Union which is a guarantee of the successful con- 
struction of a Communist society in your homeland, a beacon through- 
out the world for workers. Inspired by your example, we will inten- 
sify our struggle for the national independence and happiness of our 

More indirectly, the PGT daily acknowledges the Soviet Union's 
ideological leadership by adjusting its own party line with great sen- 
sitivity to the twistings and turnings of the Soviet line. Thus, in a 
few months early in 1953 the PGT's Octubre and other propaganda 
outlets blandly endorsed the accusations of Stalin's Government that 
"Jewish doctors" had plotted the death of certain Soviet leaders, re- 
versed themselves after Stalin's death in March by endorsing the new 
line put out by Beria, Minister of the Interior and of State Security, 
that the doctors' confessions had been extracted by "impermissible 
means," and finally reversed themselves again by joining in Malen- 
kov's accusations that Beria was a traitor. Such examples are re- 
peated with each turn of the Soviet line. 

The fact that the ultimate aims of the Guatemalan PGT are sub- 
ordinated to the long-range Soviet aim of a Communist world has a 
direct effect on its immediate aims and tactics. The Guatemalan PGT 
acts within a global not a local Guatemalan political context. It thus 
conceives of the ultimate triumph of communism in Guatemala as part 
of a successful worldwide advance of the Communist forces and, as a 
disciplined battalion in the advance of an army, refrains from charg- 
ing ahead blindly and adjusts its tactics and objectives to support the 
main effort, so the PGT subordinates its local effort to seize control of 
(he Guatemalan Government to the wider consideration of assisting 
in the reduction of the stronghold of free nations grouped around the 
United States. 

All of this is obscured and glossed over in the catch phrases of the 
Communist lexicon, but reflection bares the essential purposes of the 
PGT. On the international plane, the party has consistently put the 
"Peace" campaign as the central and orienting point of its activities, 
and the "Peace campaign" is defined as "struggling against the im- 
perialist warmongers" and "preventing the chaining of small nations 
and their resources to the imperialist war chariot." This is to say that 
the central point of the Communist program is to fight against the 
United States and to prevent small nations, like Guatemala, from 
collaborating effectively in the United States-led struggle against 
Soviet Communist advances. The PGT thus adopts as its primary 

«07858— 64- 


orientation that the defeat or isolation of the United States is the first 
prerequisite of triumph of communism in Guatemahi as elsewhere. 

(Newspapermen and other observers of the Guatemalan scene have 
often given evidence of examining the "Communist" problem on a 
local rather than international plane. Their eyes frequently seem di- 
rected principally at the degree that the Guatemalan Communists 
exercise control of the Government and overlook the wider implica- 
tions that this control is not necessarily the objective of communism 
at this phase but an instrument to serve the broader purposes of 
Communist advance.) 

2. The Domestic Program : Within the framework of advancing in- 
ternational communism, the PGT has adopted a program in Guate- 
malan domestic affairs evidently calculated to disrupt the social and 
political structure and sever the links betw^een Guatemala and the 
United Statas. 

The party program, adopted at the 1952 Congress, is entitled El 
C amino Guatemalteco, the "Guatemalan Way." It is in its currently 
applicable portions summarized in a report by Fortuny, approved by 
the Central Committee at its plenary session May 16-17, 1953, consist- 
ing of seven points. These, in the stated order of importance are: 

1. The application of agrarian reform must be carried on. 

2. Intensify the fight against foreign monopolies and increase the 
anti-imperialist sentiment of our i:»eop]e, especially the United Fruit 
Company, the International Kaihvays of Central America, and the 
Empresa Electrica power and light company. 

3. Denounce with greater insistence the counter revolutionary ac- 
tivities of feudal imperialist reaction. 

4. Give increasing support to progi-essive measiires undertaken by 
the democratic Government of President Arbenz, such as the high- 
way to the Atlantic which will allow Guatemala, by competing with 
the U.S.-owned lECA Railroad, to free itself from monopolistic 

5. Improve the living conditions of the masses, especially by strug- 
gling for a minimum daily rural wage of 80 cents and urban wage 
of $1.25. 

6. Cultivate and strengthen organic unity and united action in the 
working class, by fighting against diversionism in labor organization. 

7. Tighten the alliance between the workers and i^easants. 

In its totality this program can be seen as a shrewd adaptation of 
current Guatemalan conditions to the requirement of the long-range 
objective of Communist world domination and the intermediate aim 
of separating Guatemala from the Western powers. The PGT's 
party literature and the speeches of its leaders continually emphasize 
that conditions are not ripe for the establishment of the "dictator- 

ship of the proletariat," that is, the seizure of power by the Com- 
munists: Guatemala must first liquidate its "feudal" agricultural 
social system and pass through "bourgeois revolution" and "capitalist" 
phases before this evolution can take place. In party doctrine, the 
function of the agrarian reform is to accelerate these social changes 
and thus pave the way for the long-run triumph of communism. 
But, in the short run, the agrarian reform serves as a punitive 
weapon against all the propertied elements, whose interests and tradi- 
tions have historically been an important factor serving to cement 
Guatemala into the Western World. More directly, the PGT seeks 
to break down the Guatemalan-Western relationship by concentra- 
tion on the fight against the economic interests of the United States 
in Guatemala ("foreign monopolies") and on support to the construc- 
tion of competing Guatemalan "national" enterprises. 

Nonetheless, while the party is not prepared to initiate the repres- 
sive aspects of the "dictatorship of the proletariat," it is clear that the 
party is achieving effective control of the Guatemalan political organ- 
izations as a means of carrying out its program. If it is completely 
successful in this, it will be the first time that a Communist-controlled 
state is established outside the Soviet sphere. 

Sec/ion III 


With its Political Committee as the nerve center, the PGT exerts 
dominant influence on the key policies of the present Guatemalan 
Government through a system of indirect control of, or influence on, 
determining units of the national political organism. The system 
employed may be likened to the works of a watch, with the PGT 
Political Committee as the mainspring, the "mass" organizations as 
the first gears, and the administration parties and some Govern- 
ment agencies as the secondary gears, the whole so meshed together 
than an impulse from the center is smoothly transmitted to distant 
entities which have no apparent connection with the party. Thus, for 
example, the Political Committee (the mainspring) might evolve a 
new aspect to its agrarian reform policy; this impulse would first 
be transmitted to the Communist leadership of the National Labor 
Federation, CGTG (the first gear) ; and it would finally go forward 
to those local and departmental Agrarian Committees (the secondary 
gears) which are under CGTG domination. Simultaneously the im- 
pulse would go from the Political Committer to PGT members in key 



positions on the policymaking "National Democratic Front" and in 
the National Agrarian Department and thence to the "vvhole of the 
Department's machinery. This system of intermeshing gears has the 
advantage of providing a machinery with which the nnmerically small 
Communist leadership can effectively manipulate various organiza- 
tions, many of whose members are not conscious of being used for 
Communist purposes. 

The PGT has built up this machinery by a complex campaign of 
maintaining close relationship with the administration; working 
harder than any other Guatemalan entity; infiltrating key Govern- 
ment agencies ; establishing an interlocking directorate between the 
PGT Central Committee and the nation's labor, women's, youth, and 
students' organizations; and achieving a position of preeminence in 
the "National Democratic Front" of administration part-ies while 
shrewdly working against the consolidation of a non-Communist 
"revolutionary" movement. 


1. The Favor of the Arhem Admimstration: The good will and 
cooperation of President Arbenz and his administration has been the 
PGT's main asset and remains so, although the PGT's growth in size 
and power is in great part plainly aimed at making it independent of 
the existence of a sympathetic Chief Executive. (E.g. now that the 
PGT controls the CGTG, it stands for less govermnent "interference" 
in union affairs.) President Arbenz" propensity for Communists is 
an undisguised fact. The Communist Party came into the open as the 
PCG at the beginning of his administration and was entered in the 
Civil Registry without regard to the Guatemalan constitutional in- 
junction against "political organizations of a foreign or international 
character." He brought the Communist leaders into the political 
meetings of administration parties which he holds in his office, and 
these parties, which he controls, openly supported Communist candi- 
dates in the January 1953 congressional elections (Fortuny in the 
Department of Guatemala and Pellecer in the Department of Escuint- 
la). Fortuny is a leading member of his "kitclien cabinet" and pro- 
fessed Communists are employed in important positions in the public 
administration. In his March 1953 Annual Message to Congress he 
served public notice that he would not suppress communism and in 
effect reemphasized this the following month when his Government 
withdrew from the Organization of Central American States 
(ODECA) in order to sidestep El Salvador's proposal tliat means to 
control communism be discussed at its next meeting. In public cere- 
monies and on May 1 Labor Day demonstration in 1953. he has puh- 
liclv thrown his arms around Communist leaders in the Latin Amer- 


lean fashion, thereby identifying himself with them in the popular 

In his March 1954 Annual Message to Congress Arbenz referred 
to the Communists as "democratic" and "progressive" and said that 
to isolate them would be equivalent to the suicide of the revolutionary 

Finally, it is generally known that political parties in Guatemala, 
and particularly political newspapers such as the PGT's Tribuna 
Popular, cannot be successful without direct or indirect support of 
the public treasury, and this could not be given in appreciable measure 
without the approval of the Chief Executive. 

The President's public speeches and actions indicate him as a left- 
ist influenced by Marxist thought and an extreme nationalist, but he 
has not defined his personal ideological orientation towards com- 
munism. He has not publicly acknowledged aid to the PGT, and his 
official position might be defined as one of denying that his Govern- 
ment is Communist while simultaneously defending the freedom of 
Communists to organize and engage in politics as any other citizens. 
He thus, publicly at least, implicitly accepts the Communists as an 
authentic domestic political party and not as part of the worldwide 
Soviet Communist conspiracy. 

2. Penetration of Government Agencies: Shielded by the favor of 
the Chief Executive, the Communists have infiltrated their members 
and supported their sympathizers in key positions in the public admin- 
istration, with special concentration on the agrarian reform machin- 
ery, the Government information and propaganda agencies, the 
wealthy social security system, and public education institutions. 

The Cabinet of President Arbenz, as his administration from time 
to time points out in refutation of charges that it is "Communist," 
does not and has never contained a known member of the Communist 
Party. However, this statement is somewhat deceptive, for the Guate- 
malan Cabinet is more of an executive than a policy-forming body. 
In policy matters, the President consults regularly with the "National 
Democratic Front" of administration parties and labor organizations, 
on which PGT members hold 4 seats, and on which there are at least 
4 Communist sympathizers of record of the 10 members who attended 
meetings in early 1954. This "National Democratic Front" has rap- 
idly replaced the Cabinet as a focal point of policy formulation. 

The President also maintains contact with a number of personal 
advisers, a sort of "kitchen cabinet," in which Fortuny is probably 
the most prominent individual. Thus, for instance, when the Agrarian 
Reform Bill was submitted to the Cabinet prior to transmission to 
Congress in May 1952, it had already been drawn up by the President 


and his advisers, and the Cabinet merely played the role of a consulta- 
tive body. 

Below the level of the Cabinet the area of heaviest Communist in- 
filtration is perhaps the governmental machinery established to carry 
out the agrarian reform, which the PGT sets as its first task in 
domestic affairs. Despite the fact that only a small fraction of the 
names of the PGT members have been made public, a significant num- 
ber of the employees of the National Agrarian Department {^Departe- 
iiiento Agrario Nacional) appear among them. The Department is 
headed by Maj. Alfonso Martinez Estevez, an opportunist non-Com- 
munist who was President Arbenz' private secretary until July 1, 
1952 ; but Waldemar Barrios Klee, the head of the Lands Section, who 
acts as Chief when Major Martinez is absent, is a PGT member. The 
Secretary General of this Department, through whom all papers are 
funneled, is Sra. Maria Jerez de Fortuny, the latest of Sr. Fortuny's 
3 wives. Of a score of inspectors of the National Agrarian Depart- 
ment, Y are publicly registered PGT members and at least 7 others 
have been identified as Communists. In addition, another dozen 
of the 350-odd National Agrarian Department employees are known 
members of PGT. A Guatemalan newspaper, the independent El 
Espectador of September 9, 1953, made the charge that "85 percent" 
of all departmental employees adhered to the PGT, a statement which 
is possibly an exaggeration but indicative of the Communist colora- 
tion that the Department has quickly taken on since its establishment 
in July 1952. 

The leverage of the PGT over the agrarian reform is further en- 
hanced by the terms of the Agrarian Reform Law of June 17, 1952, as 
amended. In addition to the National Agrarian Department, the 
law establishes local Agrarian Committees, which pass in the first 
instance on petitions for the expropriation and distribution of land; 
departmental Agrarian Commissions, which are the first reviewing 
authority ; and a National Agrarian Council, which is the final court 
of appeal under the President. The law, as amended, provided that 
60 percent of the personnel on local Agrarian Committees should be 
composed of representatives of the CGTG or CNCG; that 1 of the 
3 members of the departmental Agrarian Committee should repre- 
sent the CGTG and another the CNCG ; and that 1 of the 9 mem- 
bers of the National Agrarian Council ^ should represent the CGTG 
and 2 others the CNCG. As the CGTG is controlled by the PGT 
(its representative on the National Agrarian Council is Jose Luis 
Ramos, the Secretary of the PGT in charge of the party's Peasant 
Commission) and the CNCG is under Communist influence, the PGT 

' The General Association of ARricultiirists (AGA), a laudowneis' organization, 
has not appointed the ropreHeutatlve to which It is iPKiilly entitled. There are 
thus in reality only eight nieniliers of tlie Council. 


Political Conmiittee has considerable means of directing the course of 
and pace of the agrarian reform. 

Despite the paucity of public documentation on PGT members, 
avowed Communists are perceptible in a number of Government posts 
outside of the agrarian reform machinery. Thus, for instance, Edel- 
berto Torres, Sr., the Nicaraguan Communist, is Chief of the publica- 
tions house of the Ministry of Public Education, and communism is 
so influential among the teachers that Rafael Tischler, a registered 
PGT member who visited the Soviet Union in 1953, is Secretary Gen- 
eral of the national teachers' union, the STEG. In the Ministry of 
Communications, Carlos Alvarado Jerez is Chief of the Direccion 
General de Radiodifusion and director of the national radio station 
TGW. Under the Ministry of Economy and Labor, Hugo Barrios 
Klee, a PGT member and brother of Waldemar Barrios Klee of the 
National Agrarian Department, is Deputy Inspector General of Labor, 
and Humberto Pineda, Labor Inspector in Ciulapa, Department of 
Santa Rosa, has also been identified as a PGT member. 

Persons whose PGT membership has not been publicly avowed but 
who are fully Communist in their unstinting public praise of party 
ideals and the Soviet Union also occupy influential Government posi- 
tions. Raul Leiva, a writer and poet who has been a leading Com- 
munist propagandist, is Chief of the Press Section of the President's 
Information Office {Secretario de Publicidad y Propaganda) and 
heads the Office when his Chief is absent. Otto Raul Gonzalez, a 
leading young Guatemalan poet, eulogist of conditions in Eastern 
Europe and participant in Communist causes, is now the representa- 
tive of the Directorate General of Statistics on the National Agrarian 
Council, and has been a member of both the President's and the 
National Agrarian Department's Information Offices. 

The Guatemalan Institute of Social Security (IGSS) appears to be 
a stronghold of the "nonparty" Communists who support the PGT 
program but are not always organizationally at peace with Fortuny's 
dominant clique in the PGT. The Manager of the IGSS is Solorzano, 
whose continuing Communist ideology, reported expulsion from the 
Mexican Communist Party, and role in the crystallization of com- 
munism in Guatemala, are described above. The personnel includes 
a number of Communist personalities, such as Sra. Laura Mallol de 
Bermudez, a Chilean, who formerly taught in the IGSS School of 
Social Service and is now in the maternity service. 

3. The PGT Pofiition in Congress : In the legislative branch of the 
Guatemalan Government, the PGT has only 4 of the 56 deputies 
in the unicameral Congress, but these are in key positions. The 
4 are Gutierrez and Jose Alberto Cardoza, both representing the 
Department of Guatemala, Cesar Montenegro Paniagua, represent- 
ing tlie Department of Suchiloix'qnez, and Carlos Manuel Pellecer, 


representing the Department of Escuintla. Gutierrez is First Secre- 
tary of Congress (1954-55) and Chairman of Congress' Special Com- 
mittee on Agrarian Reform (1952-54). Jose Alberto Cardoza has 
been chairman of the Special Committee on Revision of the Labor 
Code (1952-54). Moreover, Pellecer during the 1953-54 sessions was 
perhaps the most vociferous administration supporter and organizer 
on the floor. 


1. The ^^National Democratic Fronf : In the field of organized party 
politics, the Political Committee of the PGT exerts its indirect influ- 
ence through the F rente Democrdtico Nacional (the "National Demo- 
cratic Front") , which is an alliance of the parties and labor groups 
supporting the Arbenz administration : The Partido Accidn Revolu- 
cionaria (PAR), the Partido de la Revolucion Guatemalteca (PRG), 
the Partido Renovacion Nacional (RN), the Communist Partido 
Guatemalteco del Trabajo (PGT) itself, and the CGTG and CNCG. 
The Front holds 51 of the 56 seats in the Guatemalan Congress, and 
virtually all Government jobs are filled with members of one or other 
of the parties. 

The PGT effectively controls the personnel of the Front's managing 
body, which meets with President Arbenz. In a typical meeting with 
the President in early 1954, the representatives were: for the PGT, 
Fortuny and Guerra Borges; for the CGTG, Gutierrez and Max 
Salazar, both PGT members; for the CNCG, Leonardo Castillo Flores, 
1953 visitor to Moscow and Oscar Bautista; for the PAR, Julio 
Estrada de la Hoz, Communist-line intellectual and Marco Antonio 
Franco, a 1953 visitor to the Soviet orbit ; and for the PRG, Augusto 
Charnaud MacDonald, longtime political collaborator with the Com- 
munists, and Alfonso Solorzano, the "nonparty" Communist manager 
of the IGSS. (The two RN seats at this period were vacant due to 
a party split.) 

In the field of ideology and party programs also, tlie PGT has 
established its ascendancy in the Front. The other parties, although 
labeling themselves "revolutionary," have found themselves since the 
1944 revolution handicapped by the fact that they produced no au- 
thentic native Guatemalan revolutionary ideology and had embarked 
on a period of social revolution without any navigational aids. In 
their early stage of development (section I) their deficiency in this 
sphere was supplied first by returning Conmiunist personalities, such 
as Solorzano and Alvarado Fuentes, and later by crypto-Communists, 
such as Fortuny when he was Secretary General of tlie PAR. These 
advisers operated at that time within the administration parties, but 
with the exodus of the Communist groups of Gutierrez and Fortuny in 


1949 and 1950 these parties became increasingly reliant for ideological 
guidance on the Connnunist movement on the outside. At first the 
older administration parties tried to form alliances omitting the new 
Communist groups, but they failed to develop a non-Communist revo- 
lutionary ideology as cement, and the alliances one by one fell of their 
internal dissensions. In October 1952 the Communist Party formally 
entered the "Democratic Electoral Front" for the congressional elec- 
tions of January 1953, and since then the party programs of the PAR, 
PRG. and RN have increasingly become replicas of the current line of 
the PGT Political Committee. They not only embody the Communist 
concepts of such programs as the agrarian reform, but are sprinkled 
with such terminology as the "struggle for peace," "foreign imperial- 
ists," "monopolist exploiters," etc. 

The ascendancy of Communist ideology in the "National Democratic 
Front" is attributable not only to the void left by the failure of a non- 
Comnumist ideology to evolve, but also to an active factor, the infiltra- 
tion into the PAR, PRG, and RN leadership of Communist sympa- 
thizers, some of whom may be secret members of the PGT. 

The PAR is currently headed by Julio Estrada de la Hoz as Secre- 
tary General. His Connnunist orientation has repeatedly been shown 
by such acts as his signing, in June 1952, a message of solidarity with 
the North Korean Government charging that bacteriological warfare 
had been used in Korea. 

The PRG is headed by Augusto Charnaud MacDonald as Secre- 
tary General. Currently the Minister of the Interior, he is a shrewd 
non-Communist politician Avho has, nonetheless, collaborated closely 
with the Comunists. On his Political Committee he has Solorzano, 
Abel Cuenca, and Roberto Alvarado Fuentes, all of whom are closely 
identified with promoting Communist objectives. 

The RN is currently split, but its dominant figure over the past 3 
years has been Jaime Diaz Rozzotto as Secretary General. He is also 
Secretary General of President Arbenz' Executive Office (Secretario 
General de la Presidencia) . He was quoted in the Guatemalan press 
as stating on July 31, 1953, at a i-ally that the Korean Armistice "rep- 
resented another step toward the achievement of a Socialist world," 
but he maintains, without definition of what he means, that he is "not 
a Communist." 

2. The ''Divide and Rule'' Tactic: Wliile the PGT thus exercises 
considerable influence over the "National Democratic Front" parties 
through ideology and sympathetic leaders, its party literature and its 
record give a strong indication that Fortuny and his colleagues are 
conscious that the rank and file of the PAR, the PRG, and the RN are 
not Communists and that the creation of a single non-Communist 
administration party might result in a "petty bourgeois" party which 


the PGT could not control. They have therefore tried to keep the 
other forces of the "National Democratic Front" divided so that 
their support would be necessary to any faction within it. From 1944 
until 1952 the issue of communism itself was an important factor in 
keeping the parties divided as each party had a "pro-Communist" and 
a "non-Communist" wing. The struggle of these two wings domi- 
nated the internal affairs of the PAR and the RN, with the most pro- 
Communist faction gradually winning in both. In 1951, as part of 
this series of factional fights, Charnaud MacDonald withdrew from 
the PAR in protest against the reelection of Alvarado Fuentes as 
Secretary General and founded the Socialist Party. 

A new form of organizational conflict arose on June 10, 1952, when 
Charnaud MacDonald, as Secretary General of the Socialist Party, 
and Alvarado Fuentes, Secretary General of the PAR, announced 
the fusion of their parties into the PRG, which was to be the "single" 
revolutionary party. They invited the RN, the F rente Pofnlar Liher- 
tador (FPL) and the Partido Integridad Nacional (PIN), but not 
the Communist PCG of the era, to join them, and all did so in short 
order. Fortuny apparently quickly saw that the PRG as the "single," 
non-Communist administration party might overshadow his PCG, 
and on July 3 he launched an attack on it in the PCG newspaper 
Octuhre^ charging that the party represented the small bourgeoisie 
and that the "workers' leaders" (i. e. Alvarado Fuentes and Solorzano 
and Cuenca who had joined him) were guilty of "rightist deviation." 
This attack, coupled with strong personal conflicts within the PRG, 
resulted in the withdrawal of the PAR and the RN later in July 1932. 

Following the destruction of the PRG as the "single" administra- 
tion party, the PAR was in the ascendancy in the latter half of 1952 
and the early months of 1953. It was the principal victor in the 
January 1953 congressional elections and had come into close align- 
ment with the CNCG, the numerically strong agricultural workers' 
and small farmers' federation, which with Communist aid had been 
weaned from Charnaud MacDonald and the PRG. With the PAR 
thus threatening to become a dominant and unmanageable "non-Com- 
munist" administration party, Fortuny and the PGT leadership 
began to give signs that they were seeking to undermine the PAR. 
The party was rocked by continual scandals in 1953, and by the spring 
of 1954 it had all but lost its opportunity to stand independently of 
the Communists. 

The PGT policy thus gives every evidence of being intended to 
divide and rule the "National Democratic Front." It is, in short, a 
part of the PGT's struggle to increase its influence at the expense of its 
allies, but this struggle in practical politics has yet given no signs of 
transforming itself into an ideological conflict between Comnmnists 
and non-Communists. 



1. The Significance of Organized Workers in Guatemala: The or- 
ganized labor movement in Guatemala in 1954 has become the Com- 
munist PGT's most important single instrument for shaping political 
developments of the country. The importance of organized labor in 
industry, commerce, and agriculture is reflected in the fact that the 
Administrative Department of Labor of the Guatemalan Ministry of 
Economy and Labor reported in April 1953 that there were 100,000 
registered union members in the C on feder anion General de Trabaja- 
dores de Guatemala (CGTG) and the Confederacion Nacional 
Campesino de Guatemala (CNCG). This figure compares with a 
total vote of about 415,000 in the presidential election in 1950 and 
underscores an important factor in Guatemalan politics : that a politi- 
cal party can readily succeed in the present atmosphere if it is sup- 
ported by organized labor. 

Organized labor itself claims an even greater number of adherents. 
The CGTG in August 1953 claimed a membership of 104,000 and the 
CNCG in 1952 claimed 215,000 members, a total for both of 319,000 
or a number equivalent to three-quarters of the 1950 vote. The dis- 
crepancy between the Administrative Department of Labor's figure of 
100,000 and the two federations' claim of 319,000 is doubtless mainly 
accounted for by the latter's gross exaggeration, but a subsidiary factor 
is that there is a time lag between the organization of unions and feder- 
ations and their registration. There are thus most probably more than 
100,000 unionized urban and rural workers in Guatemala, though only 
a small proportion of that ninnber could be considered as active in 
union affairs. 

The labor movement has been primarily concerned with politics 
rather than pure labor matters since its inception in a modern form 
in 1944. To a large extent this was inevitable, both because no labor 
organization of any complexion had much chance of establishing 
itself without collaborating closely with the administration and be- 
cause Communists and Communist sympathizers proved to be the only 
labor organizers prepared to set a new labor movement on its feet. By 
1953 the CGTG and CNCG had become a key factor in politics: 
their representatives were in the majority on the local and depart- 
mental Agrarian Committees under the terms of the Agrarian Reform 
Law; Guillermo Ovando Arriola, the CNCG Secretary for Agrarian 
Affairs, was president of Congress ; and 3 CGTG and 3 CNCG officers ^ 
and several members of each organization were deputies in Congi'ess. 

' GutifTrez, Ppllecor, and C^sar MoiitoneKro PanlfiKua of the CGTG and Ovando 
Arriobi, Alfonso PortUlo, and .Tosf Einosto iJiufur Fuentes of the ('NCO. The 
first 3 are I'GT doimties, the Inst 3 PAK rtopntles. 


2. Co7nmu7iist Control of the Confederacion General de Trabaja- 
dores de Guatemala: The CGTG, founded in October 1951, is Guate- 
mala's national labor federation, and its leadership is to all intents 
and purposes completely under the control of the PGT Political Com- 
mittee. With the exception of a very few independent local unions, 
it represents all organized industrial, transportation, and commercial 
labor and has a considerable number of agricultural workers' feder- 
ations, including the union of the workers at the United Fruit Com- 
pany plantations. The CGTG affiliation with the WFTU and Vi- 
cente Lombardo Toledano's CTAL were accepted in 195o. 

The key positions in the CGTG are all held by PGT members. 
Gutierrez, a member of the PGT Political Committee and the liead of 
the PGT Central Committee's Labor Union Commissio?i, is its Secre- 
tary General. Jose Alberto Cardoza, also of the PGT Political Com- 
mittee is First Vice Secretary General. Pellecer, another PGT Politi- 
cal Committee member, is the most active of the Secretaries for Labor 
Disputes. Virgilio Guerra, of the Political Committee, is CGTG 
Secretary for Organization. Carlos Manuel Pellecer of the Political 
Committee is the leading Secretary for Labor Disputes. Maximiliano 
Salazar Garcia, listed as a member in the PGT's December 1952 peti- 
tion for registration, is Secretary for Rural Workers Relations. An- 
tonio Ovando Sanchez, the Communist who went to Moscow in the 
early 1930's, was a leading spirit of the Escuela Claridad^ Commu- 
nist labor school after the 1944 revolution, and now another PGT 
member listed on the party's registration petition is Secretary for 
Laws and Resolution. Miguel Marmol, the Salvadoran Communist 
of the Escuela Claridad group, is from time to time reported in the 
press at CGTG headquarters, where he may be continuing the advisory 
function which he undertook for the CTG in 1944. 

3. Communist Influence on the Confederacion Nacional Campesina 
de Guatemala: The PGT exerts a strong ideological influence rather 
than organizational control over the CNCG, only one of whose present 
officers is luiblicly known to be a member of the PGT.^ The CNCG, 
founded in June 1951, is the national federation of cam.pesina organ- 
izations, that is, organizations of hired farm workers, of small tenant 
farmei's, and of small farmers, most of whom in Guatemala are In- 
dians. Among farm laborers its activities overlap with those of the 
CGTG which is currently expanding its agricultural affiliates in 
connection with the Agrai-ian Reform Law. This has resulted in 
some organizational conflict and jealousies, none of which, however, 
have extended into the sphere of ideology. The CNCG's orientation 
has remained in harmony with the PGT Political Committee's pro- 
gram and, in October 1953, the CNCG became affiliated with the 

HtTto Del in Castro, mcmlicr of tlic CX(X3 OoiisiiUatiVH Council. 


WFTU and the CTAL, the labor Communist international organi- 

A good deal of the CNCG's Communist ideological orientation 
stems from the Secretary General, Leonardo Castillo Flores, a 36- 
year-old' ladino schoolteacher. Although not a PGT member as 
far as is known, he is a vice president of the National Peace Com- 
mittee; was appointed a delegate to the abortive Continental Peace 
Congress in Montevideo in 1952 and a delegate to the WFTU's Third 
World Congress of Trade Unions in Vienna in October 1953 ; and 
went to the Soviet Union the following month. In July 1952 when 
Fortuny attacked leaders of the PRG as "deviationists," he specifically 
excepted Castillo Flores, and the latter soon thereafter withdrew his 
support from the PRG and Charnaud MacDonald, with whom the 
CNCG had formerly been closely politically allied. He pledged to 
devote himself entirely to support the "alliance of the workers and 
peasants," and was followed by Clodoveo Torres Moss and Oscar 
Bautista of the CNCG Executive Committee, and with their sup- 
port succeeded in October 1952 in expelling Amor Velasco de Leon, 
the Secretary of Organization and number-two man of the CNCG, a 
left-winger who nonetheless resisted the organization's moves toward 
the PGT orbit. Despite a Communist tint to his political thinking, 
however, Castillo Flores at times has been in conflict with the PGT 

At present, the CNCG is closely affiliated with the left wing of the 
PAR and the leaderships of the two organizations are interlocked. 
Castillo Flores is a member of the PAR Political Committee. Ovando 
Arriola, the ex-president of Congress (1953-54), is concurrently the 
CNCG's Secretary for Agrarian Affairs and the PAR's Secretary for 
Organization. Marco Antonio Soto is the CNCG's Secretary for 
Agricultural Affairs and Credit and the PAR's Secretary for Peasant 


1. The Role of the '■^Mass Organizations^': Around the solid core 
of the PGT and its position in the Government, the political parties 
and the labor unions, the PGT Political Committee has organized a 
periphery of other "mass organizations" consisting of intellectuals, 
youth, students', and women's groups. The principal ones are the 
Comite Nacional de la Paz (The National Peace Committee), the 
Aliama de la Juventud Democrdtica de Guatemala (AJDG), the 
Frente Unlversitario Democrdtica (FUD), the Alianza Femenina 
Guatefnalteca (AFG), the Confederacion de Estudiantes de Post Pri- 
maria (CEP), and the Saker-Ti group of young intellectuals and 

•liorn on November 25, 1017. 


These organizations serve multiple purposes for the PGT which 
dominates each one of them. For immediate use, they constitute a 
propaganda apparatus for disseminating the party line, sometimes 
tailored to the background of the membership, over a wider area than 
is covered by the other organizations xinder PGT guidance. At the 
same time, they are useful in adding their voices to those of labor 
organizations and political parties to provide the semblance of "popu- 
lar support" for a PGT project, such as a protest against American 
"intervention" in Guatemalan affairs or a "Peace" petition. For use 
in the longer pull, these organizations provide an educational appa- 
ratus for training future party members and leaders. They provide 
the stage on which fledgling leftist extremists can be indoctrinated, 
tested, and observed. Finally, by providing trips to numerous "Con- 
gresses" in Europe and elsewhere they provide ready contacts between 
the local Communist movement and the main currents of international 
communism. The details of the financing of these trips is one of the 
obscurities of Guatemalan Communist activities, but the evidence in- 
dicates in outline that collections from the membership are augmented 
by funds or tickets supplied by the parent organizations in Europe. 

These Guatemalan "mass" organizations all have certain common 
characteristics. They claim to be "nonpartisan" organizations rep- 
resenting people without discrimination as to class, religion, or political 
belief. On these grounds^ they take in a good many non-Communist 
opportunists in the administration's "revolutionary" movement who 
find the "mass organizations" an acceptable manner of recording 
leftist zeal. They also attract a fringe of the duped, the eccentric, 
and the old-fashioned pacifists, and they have proved on a number of 
occasions not to be above using non-Communist names without per- 

They have another characteristic in common in that they virtually 
always contain a PGT member, under the discipline of the Political 
Committee, in a key position, usually as Secretary General or Secre- 
tary for Organization. 

Most of the "mass organizations," moreover, share the characteristic 
of affiliation to a recognized international Communist organization, 
paralleling the CGTG's affiliation to the WFTU. 

2. The Comite Nacional de la Paz: Guatemala's National Peace 
Committee, an affiliate of the World Congress of Peace, was established 
in its present form in Guatemala in 1949 ^ at a meeting presided over 
by Fortuny after he, Gutierrez and Solorzano attended the First 
World Congress of the Partisans of Peace. At that meeting Jaime 

' An earlier "Committee for Peace and Democracy" was founded in September 
1948 in the presence of Roberto Moreno, reportedly sent by Vicente Lombardo 


Diaz Rozzotto, the present Secretary General of the President's Exec- 
utive Office, was elected as the first Secretary General. 

The present leadership of the National Peace Committee, elected on 
June 14, 1952, illustrates the PGT's technique of control. The presi- 
dent is Antonio Cruz Franco, a leftist lawyer who was briefly on the 
Supreme Court in 1946, but the Secretary General is Mario Silva 
Jonama, the PGT Secretary for Education, who was in the Soviet 
Union in 1952. The vice presidents are Luis Cardoza y Aragon, a 
leading Communist-line Guatemalan poet and critic who served as 
Minister to Moscow in 1945 ; Gutierrez, the PGT member who is Secre- 
tary General of the CGTG; Maj. Marco Antonio Franco Chac6n, 
a leftist army officer, PAR deputy, and current president of Congress 
who went to Budapest in 1953 ; Sra. Elena de Barrios Klee, princi- 
pal of the "Belen" Government Girls' Scliool wb.ere Communist-line 
meetings are held and wife of Waldemar Barrios Klee, PGT member 
and Chief of the Lands Section of the National Agrarian Department. 

The other officers of the National Peace Committee are Secretary 
for Organization, Marco Antonio Blanco, the PGT member who is 
an inspector of the National Agrarian Department; Secretary for 
Propaganda, Oscar Edmundo Pahna, a member of the PGT Central 
Committee, officer of the teachers' union STEG, and contributor in 
September 1953 of a firsthand account of Soviet "progress" to the 
PGT's Trihuna Popular; Secretary for Press, Raul Leiva, head of the 
Press Section of the President's Information Office; Secretary for 
Finance, Sra. Atala Valenzuela, a member listed by the PGT in its 
1952 petition for registration; Secretary for Liaison (Relations), 
Carlos Alvarado Jerez, the Chief of the Directorate General of Radio 
Broadcasting of the Ministry of Communications who is an avowed 
Communist; and Secretary for Minutes, Julio Ernesto Juarez. 

The National Peace Committee has subsidiary committees in the 
departments and municipalities of the Republic (the president of the 
unit in the Department of Guatemala is Guillermo Ovando Arriola, 
the ex-president of Congress) and conducts a rather intensive activity 
which is reenforced by the CGTG, the CNCG, the administration 
political parties, and the other "mass" organizations. It circulates 
petitions for peace, holds local and national peace congresses, releases 
statements on world events which receive prominent play in the leftist 
and Government press, and publishes a leaflet-like periodical Por la 
Paz edited by Otto Raiil Gonzalez. 

In 1952 the Committee sponsored showings of the film, Bacterio- 
logical Warfare in Korea, purporting to prove that the United States 
employed germ warfare during the Korean hostilities. Several of the 
showings were in Government schools. 

On September 19, 1953, the National Peace Committee initiated a 
"Campaign for Negotiations" in response to the Budapest World 


Peace Council's appeal for big power negotiations on outstanding 
international questions. It has set itself a quota of 125,000 signatures 
on a petition for such negotiations, a statistic which illuminates its 
present capacities. 

The National Peace Committee has also sponsored delegations to 
the various congresses of the Soviet-dominated peace movement 
notably tlie voyages of Roberto Alvarado Fuentes, at the time presi- 
dent of Congress, to the 1951 Vienna Peace Conference; of Mario 
Silva Jonama and Jose Alberto Cardoza to the preparatory and 
full-dress Peking Asiatic and Pacific Peace Conferences in June and 
September 1952; and of Lt. Col. Carlos Paz Tejada, ex-Chief of the 
Armed Forces (1949) ; Maj. Mario Antonio Franco Chacon, the PAE 
deputy, and Oscar Edmundo Palma of the PGT, to the Budapest 
meeting of the World Council for Peace in June 1953. Lieutenant 
Colonel Paz Tejada and Major Franco were elected at the World 
Peace Council at the last of these meetings. 

3. The Alianza de la Juventud Democratica de Guatemala: The 
AJDG, founded on December 21, 1947, is the Guatemalan affiliate of 
the international Communist World Federation of Democratic Youth 
(WFDY) and may be considered the training ground for youth, some 
of whom may later be graduated to membership in the PGT. 

The leading figure in tlie AJDG for some years lias been Iluberto 
Alvarado, a 26-year-old member of the PGT's Central Committee 
and chief of that committee's Youth Commission. He has been several 
times Secretary General of AJDG (once in 1961) and still appears 
to guide its policies. In 1952-54 the Secretary General is Edelberto 
Torres Rivas, who attended the Bucharest Youth Festival and went to 
the U. S. S. R. in 1953. During his absence the Secretary Generalship 
passed to Bernado Lemus, a registered Communist. 

Another leading member of the AJDG is Hugo Barrios Klce, Dep- 
uty Inspector (ieneral of Labor, a P(iT member, a delegate to the 
1951 Berlin Youth Festival, and brother of Waldemar Barrios Klee, 
Chief of the Lands Section of the National Agrarian Department. 

Statistics on the membership of AJDG have not recently been 
publicized but its activities have been extensive. Newspapers report 
departmental and local youth congresses and in February 1953 the 
AJDG was a principal sponsor of the "National Conference on the 
Rights of Youth." It is now instrumental in organizing a proposed 
"Festival of Friendship of the Youth of Central America and Carib- 
bean," scheduled for December 1954. It also publishes a monthly 
review headed Alianza. 

The AJDG sent delegations to the Berlin Youth Festival in 1950 
(headed by Huberto Alvarado), to the Bucharest Youth Festival in 
July 1953, and the Warsaw Students' Conference in August 1953. 


I'he delegations to the 1953 gatherings in the Soviet orbit went on, in 
many cases, to Moscow and toured the U. S. S. R. 

4. The F rente Universitario Democratica: The FUD was founded 
on January 22, 1952, by a fusion of the Accion Democratica Uidversi- 
taria (ADU) and the Vanguardia Universitaria (VU). It is an af- 
filiate or candidate for affiliation of the Communist International 
Students' Union (ISU) in Prague and represents the PGT's effort 
to keep alive in the University at San Carlos, Guatemala's national uni- 
versity, the Marxist current which was so influential in the crystalliza- 
tion of an organized political party. It is, however, in a minority posi- 
tion in the student body, overshadowed by the moderate Asooiacion 
de Estudiantes Universitarios (AEU) and rivaled by the more im- 
portant Commits de Estudiantes Universitarios Anticomunistas 
(CEUA), the leading student anti-Communist organization. 

The present Secretary General of the FUD is Ricardo Ramirez, 
who attended the Defense of the Rights of Youth Congress in Vienna 
in 1953. He succeeded Cesar Augusto Cazali Avila, member of the 
National Agrarian Council, Secretary for Organization of the union of 
the National Agrarian Department's employees, and almost certainly 
a member of the PGT. He attended the ISU meeting in Bucharest in 
tlie summer of 1952 and later toured several of the "People's Democ- 
racies" of Eastern Europe. He has written of his experiences there 
for the PGT Tribuna Popular and his signed statements on behalf of 
the FUD never deviate from the PGT line. 

The FUD Secretary for Organization is Julio Rene Estevez, who 
in the fall of 1953 visited the U. S. S. R. and Communist China after 
attending the Tliird World Congress of Students in Warsaw in 

Apart from the meeting in Bucharest which Cazali attended, the 
FUD has sent delegations to the 1953 World Youth Festival in Bucha- 
rest and the subsequent Students' Conference in Warsaw. Several of 
the delegates went on to the U. S. S. R- and some to Communist China. 
In Guatemala it publishes a monthly review, Nuestra Lucha, which 
adheres to the Communist line. 

5. The Alianza Femenina Guatemalteca: The AFG founded in 
1947 is the Guatemalan affiliate of the Communist International Fed- 
eration of Democratic Women (IFDW) and is closely connected with 
the PGT. One of the founding members is Sra. Maria Vilanova de 
Arbenz, wife of the President. 

The current Secretary General is Sra. Dora Franco y Franco, who 
has been active in Communist-line causes to the extent of travel- 
ing to European Connnunist-front congresses,^ and who is almost 
certainly a member of the PGT. Another leading figure in the AFG 

' DuriiiK Kt'vcral iiioiitlis in uiid-lDn;?, Sr;i. de Urnitia, Vice Secretary Gen- 
eral, acted as Kecretar.v General for niiexiilainod rea.soiia. 



is Sra. Irma Chavez de Alvarado, the Secretary for Organization, 
who is also the head of the Women's Commission of the PGT. She is 
the wife of Bernardo Alvarado Monzon, the PGT Secretary for Or- 
ganization. Sra. Maria Jerez de Fortuny, wife of the PGT Secre- 
tary General, herself Secretary General of the National Agrarian 
Department, is one of the AFG's counsellors. Tlie Secretary for 
Propaganda of the AFG is Sra. Elsa Castefieda de Guerra liorges, 
the wife of Alfredo Guerra Borges, Secretary of the PGT temporarily 
in charge of propaganda. 

The AFG was particularly active in promoting the Communist 
campaign in 1962 to "save" the Rosenbergs, the convicted atomic spies 
eventually executed in the United States. The organization's monthly 
magazine, Mujeres^ follows the Communist line. 

The AFG held its first National Congress November 26-28, 1953, 
and it was addressed by Sra. de Arbenz. 

6. The Oonfederacion de Estudiantes de Post Primaria: The CEP 
is a high school students' organization which follows the PGT line 
closely and is favorably treated in the PGT publications, giving rise to 
a supposition that it is under the party's influence. However, none of 
its officers, who are young students, can be identified as PGT members. 

7. Gntpo Saher-Ti de Artistas y Escritores Jovenes: The Saker-Ti 
(the Dawn) organized in December 1947 is a Communist-controlled 
group of young intellectuals in which leading spirits are Huberto 
Alvarado of the AJDG and chief of the PGT Cultural Committee's 
Youth Committee, and Hugo Barrios Klee. Like otlier "mass organi- 
zations," the Saker-Ti seeks to exploit non-Communist liberal senti- 
ment, for example, praising the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 
but in this case their tactics were exposed in an expose by Manuel 
Mario Herrera Lopez, the organization's ex-Secretary of Organiza- 
tion, who resigned on January 2, 1953, and during the following July 
described the Saker-Ti as a Communist front in a series of articles 
for La Flora. 

SecN'on \W 




1, A Basis for Evaluation: While it is risky to peer into the future 
for a glimpse at the probable lines of development of the Connnunist 
Party in Guatemala, it is possible to strike a balance sheet of the 
wealmesses and strengths of the PGT's position in the spring of 1954, 
and, postulating an unchanged international situation and the ab- 


sence of coup d'etat, arrive at a rough esthnate of its capabilities. 
This estimate, spelled out in the succeeding paragraphs, indicates a 
probability of further increase of Communist power in Guatemala. 

2. Weaknesses of the PGT Position: Despite the growth of the 
PGT as an organized party since President Arbenz came into office 
in 1951 and its controlling influence on Government policy, the ad- 
ministration parties and labor and "mass organizations," the PGT's 
position in the Guatemalan political organism is still subject to some 
theoretical weaknesses. 

The first weakness of the PGT is the degree of its dependence on 
tlie good will of the Guatemalan Government, particularly of the 
President, and at least the neutrality of the Guatemalan Armed 
Forces. In spite of its considerable strides toward an independent 
organization with genuine strength, in over 3 full years since com- 
ijig into the open in Arbenz' administration, the PGT could not 
operate on its present scale unless it received help from the admin- 
istration. The young PGT thus is faced with the danger of severe 
restrictions if not extinction of its activities in the event of an un- 
favorable change of administration, by revolution or by other means. 
This danger is compounded by the fact that the PGT has yet made 
no palpable inroads on the Guatemalan Army. 

A second weakness of the PGT is its lack of a sufficient Marxist- 
indoctrinated following. Despite the growing number of party mem- 
bers and the thousands influenced through the political, labor, and 
mass organizations, the PGT still appears to lack a wide enough 
trained personnel base from which to draw even the small number of 
militants necessary to carry out its program efficiently. This is in- 
dicated by the fact that the PGT uses the same individuals in a 
multiplicity of jobs. Gutierrez, for example, is obliged to be simul- 
taneously a party official, head of the labor movement, a deputy in 
Congress, and a leader of the Peace movement. This lack of trained 
personnel derives not only from the youth of the PGT but also from 
conditions in Guatemala which lack any significant tradition of social 

The third weakness of the PGT, a corollary of the second, is that 
it has to face the ever-present danger that the main stream of the 
Guatemalan revolution of 194:4: will turn into a purely opportunist 
channel and swamp communism. The "non-Connnunist" political 
groups supporting the Arevalo and Arbenz administrations have al- 
ways had a large content of opportunism characterized by a good 
deal of uncomprehending lip service to Communist slogans and much 
real concentration on graft and political chicanery. Tlie PGT is in 
a minority position where failure to manipulate these anarchical cur- 
rents to its advantages might result in its being overcome by them. 
PGT leadership, to judge by party writings, is quite conscious of tliis 


danger. It appears to be the main reason that the PGT has worked 
against the consolidation of a single official ^'revolutionary" party, 
such as the PKI in Mexico. It is also a reason that the PGT has corn- 
batted rival revolutionary doctrines which might attract some sup- 
port, such as the Aprista doctrine in the political sphere and Peron's 
ATLAS in the labor field. 

The fourth weakness of the PGT is the imperfection of its own 
internal organization. Its leaders are young and, compared to the 
Communist Parties in the industrial countries, inexperienced. There 
is the danger of internal dissension and, although it has not yet re- 
sulted in a'liiajor purge, there are several hints that there is some basis 
for possible future contention. Fortuny has stated publicly that there 
was a purge at the clandestine First Party Congress in 1949 but he did 
not reveal the grounds for it. From 1950 until early 1952 Fortuny 
and Gutierrez evidently pursued the same objective but with different 
tactical emphases, the former standing for an open, labeled Com- 
munist Party and the latter for a Communist Party under another 
name (the PEOG) pending further training and indoctrination. 
This difference was resolved by a compromise: Fortuny's party 
emerged as the recognized party but adopted some of Gutierrez' view- 
points by changing the party name to the Partido Guatemalteco del 
Trabajo (PGT). It is an open question, however, whether this com- 
promise will survive over the years the shifting tactics and fortunes 
of international communism. Fortuny and his associates now make 
up the Secretariat of the PGT while Gutierrez and his are on a lower 
echelon. Meanwhile, Solorzano and others of the original Communist 
movement appear to be out of the PGT altogether and apparently 
continue to adhere to the older doctrine of promoting Communist 
doctrines from within the administration groups. At present there 
is no shred of evidence that any of these groups are pursuing a Trot- 
sky ist or other "deviationist" policy, and there are evident advantages 
to the Soviet international Conununist movement to have alternatives 
in choosing factions in Guatemala. However, it is a matter for specu- 
lation whether the party could remain organizationally unshaken un- 
der the impact of a major change in the Guatemahin domestic situation 
or a change in Soviet policy. 

The fifth weakness of the PGT is the degree to which Guatemala's 
political climate has changed since 1944 and especially since 1951 
when the Arbenz administration came into power. The emergence 
of a professed Communist Party has caused a polarization of political 
opinion with most of the formerly economically powerful interests 
arrayed against the party and the Government which aids it. The 
balance of opinion in the San Carlos University has swerved from 
its 1944 high of woolly leftism to a point where it is a stronghold 
of anti-Communist and anti-CJovernment sentiment despite its vo- 


ciferous pro-Communist minority. The professional and business 
classes, which welcomed the end of the period of dictatorship in 1944 
and acquiesced in its early phases of the revolution's social reforms, 
have balked at what they regard as the extremist currents that have 
taken over the revolution. The Eoman Catholic Church in Guatemala 
has always opposed communism and its anti-Communist message has 
gained wider acceptance as Communist advances have impressed 
themselves on the public mind. The Archbishop of Guatemala, Msgr. 
Mariano Rossell Arellano, in his 1954 Easter Pastoral Letter called 
for a "National Crusade Against Communism." The independent 
press, which has the majority of Guatemalan newspaper circulation, is 
solidly against the PGT and has made communism the central domes- 
tic political issue in Guatemala. The PGT thus now faces a con- 
siderable array of hostile forces, a development it recognizes under 
the terminology of the "sharpening of the class struggle." 

The final weakness of the PGT is that it is a distant satellite of the 
Soviet Communist center and derives its energy and cohesion from it. 
In the last analysis, if international developments were to lead to an 
internal explosion in the U. S. S. R. or a material weakening of the 
strength it transmits abroad, the PGT would be in danger of losing 
its cohesion, though the fragments of frustration, anticapitalism, and 
perverted nationalism which form it might later reform as the satellite 
of another virulent "ism." 

3. Strength of the PGT\ Position: WTiile the weaknesses of the 
PGT are largely theoretical and dangerous to the party only if certain 
hypothetical events occur, its strengths are concrete and of immediate 
value, with the result that in the balance the indications for the next 
few years are that the PGT will advance in its program if there is no 
external or accidental interference in its progress. 

The first asset of the PGT is that it has the initiative in Guatemalan 
political life and has already developed a momentum which would be 
difficult to stop. The Arbenz administration has committed itself 
to a "reform" program, the ideological content and rationalization 
of which has been largely the result of the PGT's manipulation of the 
"revolutionary movement." Thus while the administration retains 
the mechanical means to suppress communism (e. g. by withdrawing 
support or using the army) it could scarcely do so without emascu- 
lating the program to which it has dedicated itself. Arbenz himself 
said as much in his 1954 Message to Congress, when he said isolation 
of the "democratic and progressive forces" (i. e. the Communists) 
would be equivalent to the suicide of Guatemala's revolutionary 

The second asset of the PGT is the virtually total lack of organized 
opposition. Like the administration parties, the opposition groups 


merely react to the PGT initiative and have no positive program of 
their own. Moreover, the propertied classes from which the opposi- 
tion would naturally draw its strength are prisoners of their property : 
They do not, it appears, dare invite retaliation hy fully supporting 
opposition organizations unless there is a prospect of immediate, 
safety-giving success. This has been mainly responsible for the phe- 
nomenon that the Partido Uni-ftcacion Anticomunista (PITA) and the 
Comite Civico Nacional (CCN), the main anti-Communist groups, 
have not risen to match the growing PGT strength but, on the con- 
trary, have become poorer and weaker with every PGT advance. 
This timidity on the part of the potential opposition has been accen- 
tuated by the strong and often publicly expressed attitude of the 
administration equating "Anti-Communism" to subversion of the 
constitutional order, and by the administration's intimidation tactics 
such as arresting anti-Communist leaders on charges of implication in 
anti-Government disturbances. Moreover, the independent press 
which is the mainstay in keeping anticommunism alive itself is 
prevented from being fully effective by fear of Government reprisals 
as well as from a lack of full comprehension of Communist tactics. 

In 1953-54 the authorities and the PGT have cooperated in a con- 
certed drive against focal points of opposition. After an uprising at 
the provincial town of Salama on March 29, 1953, leading figures in the 
PUA, CCN", and the students' anti-Communist groups CEUA were 
jailed or driven into exile. More anti-Communist leaders were ar- 
rested or went into exile after the Government alleged in January 
1954 that it had uncovered an "international plot" against it. In the 
first months of 1954, the principal anti-Communist radio stations were 
raided by masked hoodlimis without police interference, or their 
owners or managers were intimidated by the authorities. 

Finally a major asset of the PGT is that the working out of the 
existing Government programs (which it had a large share in shap- 
ing) is virtually certain to lead to an increase in Communist strength. 
The agrarian reform, for instance, has not only cut into the economic 
strength of the landowning class but brought on a decline in invest- 
ment weakening the business classes. In rural areas it is educating 
farm workers to the attitude that they must cooperate with the Com- 
munist and Communist-influenced agrarian authorities, and at the 
same time it is paradoxically uprooting tradition-bound Indian labor- 
ers who do not favor the new reform but who give indications of 
becoming a drifting, discontented group susceptible to manipulation 
by extremists. Likewise, the attack on foreign companies on extreme 
nationalist grounds stimulated by the PGT serves a double purpose, 
for at once it weakens the links with the United States and weakens 
those concepts of property, equity, and law which serve to block the 
way to the eventual Communist triumph. 




The present and possible future successes of communism in Guate- 
mala have a wider significance than the degree to which the PGT 
fulfills its Guatemalan program. Foremost among the long-range 
benefits of the PGT's experience to international communism is that 
under the shelter of the Guatemalan Government, a Communist 
Party has been able to perfect techniques for operation in the Latin 
American environment, and especially for exploiting the revolution- 
ary-nationalistic currents which are now near the surface throughout 
most of the area. Guatemala differs in degree but not in kind from 
most of her sister Latin American Eepublics and, under propitious 
circumstances, international communism may be expected to adapt 
the lessons learned in Guatemala to other areas. If Moscow estab- 
lishes that a Communist-controlled state can be maintained without 
the direct or threatened protection of the Red army, it will have 
opened new doors to expansion and conquest. 

There is already evidence that Guatemala is being used as a base 
for the spread of communism, especially to the rest of Central Amer- 
ica. The country has become a focal point of communism for neigh- 
boring areas. Miguel Marmol and Virgilio Guerra, the Salvadoran 
Communists, are at the moment active in the Guatemalan labor move- 
ment ; Abel Cuenca, a Communist or at least a thoroughgoing sympa- 
thizer, is active in political life; and 14 young Salvadorans impris- 
oned in their country in September 1952 for Communist activities 
(though stating they are not Communists) arrived in Guatemala in 
August 1953 under the leadership of Manuel Otilio Hasbun, ex-presi- 
dent of the General Association of Salvadoran University Students. 
In May 1954 Obdulio Barthe, the Paraguayan Communist leader, 
was accepted as a refugee in Guatemala. The Asociacion Derrvocrd- 
tica Salvadorena, an exile organization, has its meetings announced 
in the PGT's Trihuna Popular. 

The Nicaraguan Communist and pro-Communist group is headed 
by Alejandro Bermudez Alegria, Edelberto Torres, Sr., and Armando 
Flores Amador (who sometimes signs as Armando Amador). This 
group is involved in the Movimiento de Nicaraguenses Partidarios de 
la Democrada, an anti-Somoza organization headed by Leonte Pallais 

Leftist Honduran exiles have organized a Guatemalan affiliate of 
the Partido Democrdtico Revolucionario Hondwreno which sends out 
Communist-line manifestos to the press under the signature, as of 
August 30, 1953, R. Amaya Amador, Secretary General. 

Several Dominican exiles have been involved in a local Comite de 
Exilados Dominicanos, some members of whom, including a Felix 
Docoudray, are also members of the pro-Connmiuist Partido Socialista 
Pofular Dowinicano wliich pu))liHhes, since August 19, 1953, a monthly 
magazine Orientacidn in Giuiteniala City. 


The local Communists have made a particularly successful attempt 
to split the local group of Peruvian Aprista exiles. The main body, 
Oomite Aprista en Guatemala, formerly under Dr. Andres Townsend 
Escurra, remained faithful to an anti-Communist as well as an "anti- 
imperialist" line, but a splinter group named the Movimiento Popular 
de la LiheraciSn Nacional, under Eduardo Jibaja, has cooperated with 
the Communists. There seems little doubt that the Guatemalan 
authorities favor the latter as they helped it to stage its 1953 observance 
of Peru's Independence Day on July 28 and Jibaja is employed by 
the Government newspaper Diario de Centra America. 

The local leftists have also cultivated the local exile branch of the 
Venezuelan Partido Accion Democrdtica but without apparent success 
as yet in subverting it to Communist uses. The leader is Dr. Luis M. 
Peiialver, ex-vice rector of the Central University of Venezuela. 

More directly it is known that officials of the PGT, including Ber- 
nardo Alvarado Monzon and Alfredo Guerra Borges, have attended 
meetings of Communist-front parties in the other Central American 
Republics and are in correspondence with the leaders of those parties, 
presumably serving as advisers in a manner similar to that in which 
more experienced Communists in earlier times aided the growth of 
the Communist Party in Guatemala. 

The variety of Communist and leftist political exiles in Guatemala 
and the links between the PGT and Communist-front parties in other 
countries thus provide the skeleton of a system by which the Guate- 
malan experiment could be exported to other Latin American 

Ah-eady there are indications that Guatemala is being used as a 
base against her neighbors. The attempt to assassinate President 
Somoza of Nicaragua in April 1954 involved among the plotters Jorge 
Rivas Montes, Francisco Ibarra Mayorga, and other revolutionaries 
who until shortly before the plot had enjoyed the protection of the 
Guatemalan Government or had traveled in and out of Guatemala. 
The disturbances which broke out in May 1954 in Honduras, result- 
ing in a well-organized strike, were preceded by the assignment in 
March and April of special Guatemalan consuls in what were to 
become the strike areas, and 4 days before the disturbance broke 
out a Guatemalan military airplane landed in the area without 

The Guatemalan potential to move directly or indirectly against 
its anti-Communist Central American neighbors was materially en- 
hanced on May 15, 1954, by the arrival in Puerto Barrios of the 
Swedish ship Alfhem carrying 2,000 tons of arms loaded in the port 
of Stettin in Polish-administered territory. 





June 1944 

July— September J 944 

October 20, 1944 

March IS, 1945 

August 1945 

January 1946 

September 28, 1947 

A Brief Chronology 

Provisional Govermnent headed by Gen. 
Federico Ponce Vaides established, 
after student demonstration over- 
throws government of General Ubico. 

First revolutionary parties and labor 
unions formed ; Ponce attempts return 
to authoritarian government. 

The Guatemalan revolution: students 
and young army officers, including 
Capt. Jacobo Arbenz, overturn Ponce 

New Guatemalan Constitution goes into 
effect ; forbids formation and function- 
ing of political organizations of inter- 
national or foreign character. 

Confederacion de Trdbajadores de Guate- 
mala (CTG) founded as first national 
labor organization; international Com- 
munists among its advisers. Shortly 
thereafter Escuela Claridad, Commu- 
nist training school within the con- 
federation, is established. 

Government closes down Escuela Clari- 
dad; Communists continue indoctrina- 
tion through study groups. 

First Communist Party founded secretly 
under name of Vanguardia Demo- 
crdtica; Jose Manuel Fortuny and 
other leaders continue to represent 
themselves to public as non-Commu- 
nist political and labor leaders. 


December 1947 

December 21, 1947 


April 1949 

July 18, 1949 

August 1949 

September 28, 1949 

May 25, 1950 

Aliama F emenina Guatemalteca (AFG) 
Communist-front women's organiza- 
tion founded. Later affiliated with 
World Federation of Democratic 
Women, international Communist 

Alianza de la Juventud Democrdtica de 
Guatemala (AJDG) Communist- front 
youth organization founded. Later 
affiliated with World Federation of 
Democratic Youth, international Com- 
munist organization. 

Jose Manuel Fortuny elected Secretary 
General of secret Communist Party, 
Vanguardia Democrdtica. 

Fortuny and Victor Manuel Gutierrez, 
Secretary General of CTG, attend 
First World Congress of Partisans of 
Peace in Paris; Fortuny goes on to 
travel behind tlie Iron Curtain. 

Col. Francisco Xavier Arana, mod- 
erate Chief of the Armed Forces, as- 
sassinated near Lake Ajnatitliln; 1st 
Eegiment revolts but is suppressed by 
Government, led by Minister of De- 
fense, Lieutenant Colonel Arbenz ; as- 
sassins never brought to justice. 

Fortuny and Alfonso Solorzano, back 
from Iron Curtain trip, participate in 
foundation of Guatemalan National 
Peace Committee, Fortuny presiding 
over meeting. 

Secret Communist Party, Vanguardia 
Democrdtica, holds First Party Con- 
gress ; reelects Fortuny Secretary Gen- 
eral; adopts name Partido Com,unista 
de Guatemala (PCG) but remains un- 

Fortuny and ten others formally resign 
from Partido Accion Revolucionaria 
(PAR) in which they had remained 
de^sjnte iii^ years' moiubership in secret 
Comnmnist Party. 


June 21, 1950 

June 1950 

Summer 1950 

March 15, 1951 
March 23, 1951 

April 4, 1951 
May 1951 

June 21, 1951 

Julys, 1951 
October 12-14, 1951 

October 25, 1951- 
January 9, J 952 

January 72, 1952 

Fortuny founds newspaper Octuhre 
whose subheading is "For a Great 
Communist Party; Vanguard of the 
Workers, and the Peasants and the 
People"; paper carries hammer and 
sickle emblem. 

Gutierrez founds Partido Revolucionaria 
Ohrero de Guatemala (PKOG), an 
openly Communist-line party. 

Fortuny becomes campaign manager for 
Lieutenant Colonel Arbenz in presi- 
dential elections. 

Arbenz inaugurated President. 

Alfonso Solorzano, leading Communist 
pei-sonnlity, appointed manager of 
Guatemalan Institute of Social Secu- 
rity {Instituto Guatemalteco deSeguH- 
dad Social) (IGSS). 

Fortuny signs public manifesto for first 
time as "Secretary General of Partido 
Gomunista de Guatemala.'''' 

Louis Saillant, Secretary General of in- 
ternational Communist organization 
WFTU, and Vicente Lombardo Tole- 
dano go to Guatemala; advise unify- 
ing the Guatemalan labor movement. 

PCG holds first public meeting in theater 
provided at Government orders ; high 
Government officials attend. 

Gutierrez states in press interview he is 
a Communist. 

Gonfederacidn General de Trabajadores 
de Guatemala (CGTG) founded as 
single national labor federation; Gu- 
tierrez elected Secretary General; Ar- 
benz sends congratulations to the 
CGTG founding congress. 

Gutierrez attends WFTU Congress in 
Berlin; visits Moscow. 

Gutierrez, back in Guatemala, announces 
dissolution of his party, PKOG; states 
ho will join Fortuny's PCG; and ad- 
vises followers to do likewise. 



January 25, J 952 

fAay 70-June 17, 1952 

Summer 1952 

December 11, 1952 

December 19, 1952 

January 16-18, 1953 

February 19, 1953 
March 1,1953 

Cominform Bucharest newspaper For a 
Lasting Peace, For a People's Democ- 
racy publishes articles on PCG, in ef- 
fect publicly announcing recognition 
of Fortuny's party as authorized agent 
of international communism in Guate- 

Agrarian Reform Law proposed by 
President Arbenz is steered through 
Congress by Special Committee on 
Agrarian Reform, whose president is 

PCG leaders participate unofficially in 
meetings of the administration politi- 
cal coalition. 

PCG holds Second Party Congress, re- 
elects Fortuny as Secretary General; 
changes name to Partido Guatemal- 
teco del Trahajo (PGT). 

PGT registered as legal political party. 

Six members of Political Committee of 
Communist Party (PCG later PGT) 
visit U. S. S. R. : Jose Manuel Fortuny, 
Mario Silva Jonama, Jose Luis Ramos, 
Jose Alberto Cardoza, Victor Manuel 
Gutierrez, and Virgilio Guerra. 

Communist PGT runs in congressional 
elections as part of "Democratic Elec- 
toral Front," the coalition of all par- 
ties supporting President Arbenz. 

Communist PGT opens "Jaoobo San- 
chez" training school for cadres. 

President Arbenz in annual message to 
Congress, obviously alluding to re- 
quests Communist Party be prohibited 
from functioning under article 32 of 
Constitution, states Government will 
assure freedom for "all, absolutely all" 
political beliefs; Communists cheer 
this passage as assurance of support 
of Conmumist Party. 

March 12, 1953 


April 4, 1953 

June 22-28, 1953 

August 8-9, 1953 

August 15, 1953 

November 5, 1953- 
January 12, 1954 

November 10, 1953 

December 79, 1953 



Guatemalan Congress observes minute 
of silence in tribute to Stalin, at time 
of his death. 

"National Democratic Front" succeeds 
"Democratic Electoral Front" and 
CGTG and CNCG are later added to 
political parties comprising Front; 
leaders, including 4 Communists and 
4 or more fellow-travelers, meet regu- 
larly with President Arbenz. 

Guatemala withdraws from Organiza- 
tion of Central American States when 
it became clear that the agenda of the 
first meeting would include an item on 
"resisting the subversive action of 
international communism." 

Guatemalan leftist organizations ob- 
serve week of "Solidarity with People 
of Korea," a principal feature of which 
is a declaration by 19 deputies, includ- 
ing the president and vice president 
of the Congress, condemning "impe- 
rialist aggression" against North Ko- 
rea and charging bacteriological war- 
fare used in Korea. 

Party organizational conference held; 
claims party membership doubled 
since December 1952. 

Communist PGT establishes daily news- 
paper, Trihuna Popular, 

Jose Manuel Fortuny, Secretary General 
of Communist Party, visits Moscow. 

Guatemala is only state to vote against 
inclusion of the item "Intervention of 
International Communism in the 
American Republics" on the agenda 
of the Tenth Inter-American Con- 

Communist-controlled Confeder acton 
General de Trabajadorea de Guate- 
mala (C(iTG) sponsors "Day of Soli- 
darity with (ho Viet iianicse, People." 


December 19S3-Apnl 1954 

January 1954 

January 72, 7954 
January 18, 1954 

January 29, 1954 
February 1954 

March 1-28, 1954 

Communist leader Carlos Manuel 
Pellecer instigates peasants in Depart- 
ment of Escuintla and elsewhere to 
seize private lands ; violence ensues. 
Anti-Communist leaders, accused of 
plotting, arrested or flee country ; fol- 
lowed by intimidation of anti-Com- 
munist radio stations. 
Fortuny returns from Moscow. 
Major Martinez, Chief of National 
Agrarian Department and former Sec- 
retary to President Arbenz, leaves 
Guatemala suddenly, purportedly for 
Minister of Czechoslovakia presents cre- 
dentials to President of Guatemala. 
"National Democratic Front" meets with 
President Arbenz and Foreign Min- 
ister Toriello to decide tactics at 
Caracas Conference; 4 of Front's 10 
representatives present are avowed 
Communists, at least 4 others fellow- 
Guatemala sends delegation headed by 
Toriello to Caracas Conference; is 
only Government to vote against anti- 
Communist resolution; abstains on 
Panamanian resolution on racial dis- 
crimination on grounds it used phrase 
"as one means of combatting interna- 
tional Communism"; states it con- 
siders without validity the anti- 
Communist resolutions adopted at the 
Bogota Conference of 1948 and the 
Washington Foreign Ministers Meet- 
ing of 1951 ; absents itself from Con- 
ference tribute to United Nations war 


March 7, 7954 

March 25, 1954 

March-April 1954 
April 10-18, 1954 

April 18-May 15, 7954 

April 25, 1954 

May 5, 1954 

May 15,1954 

President Arbenz, in annual message to 
Congress, indicates clear support of 
Communists ; identifies them as "demo- 
cratic" and "progressive" forces; says 
that to eliminate them would be equiv- 
alent to suicide of revolutionary 

Guatemala withdraws from Pan Ameri- 
can Union its instrument of ratifica- 
tion of the Inter- American Treaty of 
Reciprocal Assistance (Rio Treaty), 
which it had submitted to the Secre- 
tariat pending result of consultation on 
Guatemalan reservation. 

Guatemala appoints special consuls to 
posts in northwest Honduras. 

M/V Alfhem loads 2,000 tons of arras 
and munitions at Stettin, a port ad- 
ministered by Communist Polish Gov- 
ernment; arms are falsely manifested 
as machinery, hardware, chemical and 
optical glass, etc. 

Alfhem on voyage to Guatemala fre- 
quently changing destination en route ; 
first ordered Dakar; orders changed 
successively to Curagao, Puerto Cortes, 
Honduras, and finally Puerto Barrios, 

Political Committee of PGT attacks Rio 
Treaty, stating that it cannot result in 
any good for Guatemala. 

Strikes break out in northwest Honduras 
in region where Guatemalan consuls 
assigned in March-April; Honduran 
Government declares three consuls 
personae non gratae; accuses Com- 
munist-dominated Guatemalan labor 
organizations of supporting strike. 

Alfhem arrives at Puerto Barrios, Guate- 
mala; begins unloading arms cargo 
under guard. 


Junes, 1954 

President Arbenz, with approval of 
Congress, summoned in night, sus- 
pends constitutional guarantees; a 
type of reign of terror begins; hun- 
dred reported arrested, including 
humble farmers, on suspicion of anti- 
communism; bullet-riddled or beaten 
bodies of persons arrested by police 
found on streets and highways ; houses 
searched; censorship imposed.